Something From Nothing Log

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

Post by ertyu »

If you're going to refurbish these bags, it might be worth it to invest in actual leather conditioner. A shoe polish repaint would be a very ratchet job and a dick move as it would stain the clothes of whoever buys this off you. But if quality bags with minor cosmetic defects can fetch good money, it might be worth it spending the time and money to repair/repaint with leather conditioner and proper paint for leather bags/clothing.

update: the mothership knows so it suggested me this
https://www.youtube.com/c/HandbagClinicOfficial

horsewoman
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by horsewoman »

To keep my leather riding/horse gear in good order I use a special beeswax paste, made for that purpose. This stuff is extremely yielding, we've used our current smallish tub for years and there is plenty in the tub still. So it might make sense to invest in some good stuff. The beeswax turns light colored leather a little bit darker.

Eta: it also smells great, which might help with the "old-people-mothball" odor that seems to cling to most older leather stuff...
Last edited by horsewoman on Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by classical_Liberal »

I can't believe the prices of those old (refurbished I assume) leather bags on that storefront. I knew they were expensive brand new, but didn't realize how expensive the secondary market could get. @ego is right in that these types of bags are a dime a dozen second hand. I could probably get my hands on a ten each month at the local second hand market places. For example, I own this exact bag for personal use, got it second hand for $10 in very good condition (very little wear on the bottom corners only).

More generally, some peripheral research, and it looks like leather skill is something that has the potential for huge benefits now and into the future. The hand tools needed look pretty basic and not space intensive. Thanks for getting me thinking again.

ertyu
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by ertyu »

this dude here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGcAW68 ... erworksLLC claims the skill is valuable in and of itself. He is charging 1k to restore a vintage Gucci and getting a youtube video out of it in the process

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Okay, I will let serendipity decide on the color. Whichever jar of second-hand 50-cent leather dye I find first will determine the hue of the bag. I'm a bit bummed because Mr. Twofingers had cases of leather conditioner and leather furniture cleaner a while ago. He was selling them 8 for $1 by the end. I should have bought some.

While I am tempted to just steal that ebay guy's method of display - squares of wood in the sizes of various Apple products (why mess with success?) - I don't have any nice pieces of wood right now that are big enough. I will have to figure out some other way. I like the vintage tags. Perhaps I'll soak a few file folders in coffee, let them dry and cut them out. Mrs. Ego can calligraphy them.

---

A couple of weeks ago a hoard of cool kids showed up at 6am at the swap meet by the border. Two friends who have been buying vintage clothing and shoes there for decades were miffed that their secret was out. Apparently one of the young insta-sellers had posted a video of himself digging though piles of cool stuff and the next week kids drove in from LA and Phoenix. They've been surprisingly persistent, coming back each week.

Last week I had a great conversation with one of them. What a nice kid! He told me he posts his entire wardrobe, literally everything he owns, for sale on depop. The way he put it.... everything has its price. He showed me the jacket he was wearing, a 1950's selvedge Levis, and gave me a long lesson on how to distinguish the truly valuable vintage stuff from the newer stuff (look at the hem) He also does pop-up shows and sells at vintage fleas all over the West Coast. 20 years old. I was impressed. He is hustling, putting in long hours. I'd be willing to bet he never thinks of it as work.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Mrs. Ego picked an old popcorn maker out of the trash and listed it for $40 on OfferUp. I laughed at her. Who would buy an old popcorn maker that has been discontinued for years? And for $40!?

Guy pulled up on a cool expedition BMW motorcycle. He had just returned from a long off-road expedition around the US. Somewhere in Montana he stayed at a place where they made the best tasting popcorn of his life. He had to have that exact popcorn maker.

anesde
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by anesde »

Ego wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:20 pm
Guy pulled up on a cool expedition BMW motorcycle. He had just returned from a long off-road expedition around the US. Somewhere in Montana he stayed at a place where they made the best tasting popcorn of his life. He had to have that exact popcorn maker.
What a great story! Are you still keeping track of the total net $$ gain of all these sales? Would be interesting to see what it’s amounted to since you started the thread!

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

@anesde, I did for a while but stopped because it took some of the fun out of it.

Mrs. Ego just sold a cocktail shaker she found in the trash for $20. Another thing I thought would never sell. Go figure.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Couldn't get the smell of dog food out of them so I sold them for $25.

Image

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

It never fails. Every Friday morning Roy and JoAnne, a middle aged couple in a dilapidated 1980s Chevy Suburban with junk swaying ten feet above the roof rack as they speed across the parking lot of the swap meet, rush to beat the official cutoff time for sellers to enter. They usually have a hodgepodge of valuable stuff; tools, knives, military gear, 35mm camera equipment, vinyl records, video games, industrial cappuccino machines, golf clubs, camping gear, antique furniture, old books and pieces of fine art priced so reasonably that a group of us, individuals as varied as the junk in the truck, stand around and talk while waiting for them to unload. Once they skid into their space the process slows to a virtual halt.

Today as we waited my friend Dirtbag*-Sclass showed me how he had pried open the sealed back side of the cylinder lock from my Zero Halliburton suitcase, pulled out the plug and removed the pins. Now he plans to trim the pins to fit a key he found at the bottom of the discarded key box in his garage. I would have never been able to accomplish this myself. Very grateful.

Normally there are five people watching for Roy and JoAnne to unload the vinyl records. Two or three for the golf clubs. Two guys wrestle for the cameras and a half-dozen wait for the art to unload. I saw an interesting backpack so I elbowed my way forward just as Roy, squatting in the back of the Suburban, turned around and without looking handed me a pile of oil paintings. The art guys gnashed their teeth as I asked the prices then took them to a corner and looked at them carefully.

I bought the two most obviously valuable paintings for $50 and set the rest on the ground. One of the art guys is a friend and he saddled up next to me to inspect them. He pays for a subscription to one of the sites where it is possible to research artist so he scanned them and showed me the results. Nothing spectacular but both were listed artists. The paintings were obviously old and he wanted one in particular, a portrait of a peasant woman with a flaming red scarf, as it was part of a pair. He had purchased the matching portrait of the peasant man. He does careful restoration work and wanted to restore the pair so when he offered me $50 for the lone painting I was happy to sell it to him.

The other painting was a 12" X 16" abstract oil on canvas from the sixties. One of the other guys, a rotund, bearded septuagenarian gallery owner noticed that I had sold the first painting so he wandered over toward me. I have known him for years but he does not recognize me from my previous life. Back in the mid-1990s he would invite Mrs. Ego and I to his gallery "openings" where he insisted on formal attire and laid out an over-the-top buffet with wheels of cheese, caviar, champaign, wine and colossal prawns all displayed to resemble the large, vibrant still life painting above the table. We always had a great time.

He handed me two smaller oil paintings he had purchased earlier, freeing his paws for the abstract. I complimented the two oils and he told me what he knew about them before reluctantly returning the compliment as he closely inspected the abstract. Mrs. Ego doesn't much care for abstract paintings so I asked him if he wanted to purchase it. He feigned disinterest and nearly walked away when I suggested we trade two for one. Smaller paintings are easier for me to sell online. Eventually he agreed.

It is quite possible I got skinned by the experts. But who cares? I ended the day with two nice paintings for $0 outlay that will work in our showroom home for the time being. I will list them online. If they sell for a lot, great! If not, no loss. And maybe we'll get an invitation to his gallery openings again, though I doubt it. Who knows?

*Dirtbag as a compliment.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

As people began switching from baths to showers back in the fifties or sixties the owners of my building decided to enclose the cast iron claw-foot tubs so that shower water would not spray all over the floor and run into the apartments below. One of my plumbers was leak detecting inside one of these enclosures and found this pipe wrench left by a plumber a long time ago. It's has been on my workbench for months. I intended to restore it but have so many other projects and very little need for a pipe wrench this size. It measures about 14" long when fully extended, which happens to be the position it is stuck in at the moment. I'm sure a little WD40 would free the wheel. The tape is holding together a split wooden handle.

Anyone in the mood for a restoration project? No need for it to be as complex as this one: https://youtu.be/zLHo5VlPAXk

I can fit it in a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope so I will gladly ship it to a US address for free. Just post some photos of the process so we can all enjoy it.

Image

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Sclass
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Sclass »

Ego wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:57 pm

*Dirtbag as a compliment.
Has a ring to it. :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

I thought it might. Something for me to aspire to.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Mrs Ego and I earmarked the funds we earned as fitness instructors to be spent for fitness related expenses. She applied her earnings toward a membership at a gym that does a hybrid yoga and crossfit workout. My earnings went toward cycling gear.

The day we were being furloughed I purchased Powerblocks from a guy on craigslist, putting our fitness funding in the red. They are only 24lbs each which works for many exercises but is too light for others.

For months after covid hit we were moving our workout from one vacant apartments to the next. Sometime over the summer we rented the last apartment and had move our gym to the dusty, damp bat cave.

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I bought the large black gym mat at the swap meet (more red). The purple travel yoga mat was left in an apartment by a tenant who was a corp de ballet dancer with our local ballet company but lost his job and had to move out. I also bought several bands and the pullup bar over the summer (more red). A few weeks after doing another half-assed repair, the handles on my fake TRX deteriorated for a second time. Fortunately I found two TRXs at the swap meet, one real and one fake, for $5 each. Sold the fake one for $50 and kept the real one. I also bought a pair of rusty adjustable dumbbells for $30 that could go to 30-35lbs each but I didn't use them very often because the weight change was a pita so I traded them to a guy from offerup for a sleeping bag and $40 . Yesterday I sold the sleeping bag for $95 so we are now back to (almost) zero for the gym.

Image Image Image

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Ego, I like the home gym! I have a similar assortment:
Yoga mat
Two kettlebells 25 and 35 (craigslist $50)
18lb dumbbell (free on curb)
Old school weider adjustable dumbbell and 36lbs (free on the curb from nextdoor just recently)
Climbing hangboard
DIY TRX straps from free 1" webbing

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

@Gilberto, I keep looking for kettlebells at the swap meet but it seems all the sellers heard the stories about people making thousands on them just after covid hit and are asking crazy prices for them. One of these days I will find a 30 or 35.

Today my friend returned with the re-keyed lock. Works perfect. He is also an avid watch mechanic. Earlier in the day I found an old box with hundreds of tiny glass vials filled with various size and shaped winding stems for mechanical watches. I paid $1. I gave it to him and he seemed thrilled.

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The dumpster diver showed up again. He had hundreds of specialized tools for fine tuning radio signals for a receiving station. At least that was the consensus best guess as to what they were.

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They guy with the watch parts was also selling piles of tools for $1 a pile. I bought this one.

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I can't remember if we have an ERE toolbox thread?

ertyu
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by ertyu »

excellent pile. after some clean-up and TLC, these are immortal

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

I did it! I finally sold something on OfferUp. One of my neighbors moved our rather abruptly and tossed out a lot of valuable items. After she left, I grabbed the 900 watt Sunbeam microwave sitting next to the dumpster. After testing and some light cleaning I posted a few decent photos on OfferUp.
There was some trial and error but I sold it today for $25. Original price with tax would have cost someone $77. I managed to get 32% of it original price. 100% profit so I'm happy with it =)

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