Thoughts on the home machinist packrat syndrome - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoop View Post
    My Name is John and I am a PACK RAT.....

    Used a one car garage for a shop, got too small
    Moved, now have 18x32 shop, 3 car garage, 20' storage trailer out back. Still have no room.........

    But, I know as soon as I throw it away........... it will be missed and needed......
    Would you be John Davis?

  2. #22
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    Default Packrat USA

    My grandparents where packrats my dad and now me. The garage the basement and and extra storage out back just in case I just can't pass up anything i feel will be useful to me in some odd way maybe not today or not tommorrow but one day it will have a use my wife always complains about it, my response you have a closet full of clothes we all need bad habits, chances are my grandkids will be tearing through it all when i am long gone, Especially since i can't pass up tool sales or an easy grab on raw materials or even just some sort of part of a machine or whatever i may find useful in my journey of life

  3. #23
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    got to admit that I have been know to go to the town dump and come back with more than I brought. My wife just shakes her head.

  4. #24
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    Hi Guys Im from Down onder in OZ just reading your posts and could see myself heading that way, I have written a little poem you might be able to relate to cheers keep collecting pete

    The Ultimate Restoration

    Why is my shed full of junk, why is it not thrown away?
    Is it a sign of insecurity to gather against that day?

    Is it a need to gather abundance, to satisfy a hunger within?
    Does it mater what kind of junk it is, if he dies with the most does he win?

    Or is there some kind of solace in saving things from the Dump,
    Things that were once loved and treasured, but now are considered just junk.

    The joy of finding that treasure, all rusted and suffering decay,
    With love and hours of labour, can make it work as it was once again.

    So at nights I sit and I labour, when all around are at rest,
    And though I am no, not a tradesman I’ll work and I’ll give it my best

    And at last, I will restore that old treasure, and put it up on display,
    And the old people will smile and remember, but the children will just giggle and play

    And in time when I am departed, and my bones are all put to rest,
    There well may come another, whose metal I”ll put to the test,

    And at nights on my bits he will labour, and in time he may well restore,
    And I”ll continue on in my journey, and go as I did once before.

  5. #25
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    ....( Standing Proudly )

    .....Hello my name is Mike And I am a packrat....

    I like to think of us as the ultimate recyclers, we repair old stuff ...with old stuff...to save the energy used in making new stuff....

    ....I,m keeping all my stuff...don,t even think I am throwing any of it away...so don,t bother following me to the dump...

  6. #26
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    Default Pre Lumbered

    As another one with this disease I thought you all might like this story. In the UK we call a large amount of this stuff "lumber" Brother of a friend bought a bungalow in an acre of land with an agricutural building bigger than the bungalow. The seller had been hoarding his treasures for forty years or so & as the deal was completed he said to the buyer "You won't need to worry about filling up the shed, I've left it pre-lumbered".

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Naw, I think the worst thing is to keep a huge pile for 10 years or longer, then give in and discard the most useless seeming part of it, then later in the week badly need one piece in it that was thrown away and now can't be replaced at any cost. That not only gives you cause to never discard anything ever again, and hoard everything you can, it pisses you off that you made such a grevious mistake that you'll never forgive yourself for...
    Yep. My wife doesn't get it, so everytime I fix something witha dump-salvaged part or an auction fixer-upper tool, I need to bring it to her attention. One trick if you really DO want to get rid of your "excess" junk (though I can't imagine why)-prioritize it and store the least valuable stuff outside. After enough weather damage, it becomes slightly less painful t o haul to the dump. A lesson I was unfortunate enough to learn. Never enough storage space!

  8. #28
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    One of the most miserable guys I ever knew tried to turn his natural pack rat tendencies into a business. Someone said to him, "You are always going to auctions, buying stuff; you've got a truck and a warehouse, so make a business of it." Turns out, it gave him ulcers. He bought everything which crossed the block, never got around to fixing it to sell, hated to put a price on anything. He loved buying and hoarding, hated selling anything. Finally, when he was nearly broke, he found a partner who loved the art of the deal. This partner hired a forklift driver/mechanic/driver, started a web site, running eBay and craigslist ads. Now, they both have fun, make a decent living and only fight over how long something gets to sit before it has to be sold.

    thnx, jack vines

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris42 View Post
    My problem is this CRS disease - I have it, it's getting worse and I can't find the stuff I know I have somewhere. Then I go looking and I forget what I am looking for...

    I think we do get to a peak in our lives though - we collect and we collect some more. At some point we begin to realize that we don't have enough time to finish everything we have lined up. We have peaked. Now we begin to refine our collection, going for quality rather than quantity.
    That 'peak' is a real event that many folks just don't want to admit is happening to them.

    We have an old saying, from way back in our family, about some sought out item being "Somewhere in an acre and an eighth."

    Well, I'm at the point that Chris described. I know I have 'that thing' but I can't find it. Yet I know it's somewhere on our 1 1/2 acre lot somewhere!!!

    So I think I'm at the 'peak' and need to fess up and start finding homes for some of the stuff. Like the old (but still good!) toilet float valves. Hey, I just might have to rig a watering rig for the ....... Or the collection of extra sink traps, or those four or five coffee cans full of rusty but salvageable bolts and nuts, or the insulation left over from building the latest shed, or............

    Gads! What a pile!

    Pete

  10. #30
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    Aah!! I am among friends here.

    I am 53 and I am a packrat. A proud packrat. I catch crap from people...but when they need something on a Sunday at 9pm...who do they call...ME!!

  11. #31
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    Default Three --- that is super

    Great Poem "Three Wheels.

    I too am one of the group -- """EVERY""" time I throw something away I need it within a week ---NO LIE HERE.

    SWMBO recently bought me a new BBQ for my birthday and fully expected me to throw the old one away

    It is now a sturdy 48"x24" rolling work bench with my 8" grinder, a small scroll saw, and a disk/belt sander mounted on top.

    I cut the side tables square, secured a 1" plywood top (saved from a previous project) , cross braced all four legs (with mild steel flat stock saved from a previous project), added 2 solid shelves below and pegboard on each end (saved from another project)

    "PACKRATS and OLD GUYS RULE"

    I did throw the lid and BBQ bottom away and SWMBO was happy too.
    Last edited by ietech; 06-14-2009 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Added comment

  12. #32
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    Yes, I have the disease, hence my handle. I just need more storage space...lol

    This was in 2005. Looks different today. Everything is full now.

  13. #33
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    Heh. Looks like you could fit another one or two of those little pup trailers over there in the line!


  14. #34
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    Thumbs up Shared affliction or affection?

    I think it is genetic.

    Could be learned (environmental) but I doubt it. When grandma passed away she had TV Guides that were 30+ years old. Hopefully my stuff is more useful.

    I too cannot pass up that "great deal" on materials. I KNOW I'll have a use for them someday. Like the 5000+ packets of nuts, bolts and screws I just had to have (It looks like the hardware isle of Home Depot exploded into three large plastic totes. SWMBO also just shakes her head.

    I wonder if all of our wives have the same neck problems.

    Cannot get through the 2 car garage. Too many woodworking, metal working, motorcycle fixing, car repairing, metal welding, electrical wiring, tools in the way.

    Don't know why I still call it a garage, there have never been any cars in it.

    We have plans to build a modest shop out back (no not in Australia) something in the 20 x 40 range with 14’ walls for a car hoist. I think it's already full and we’ve not even begun to pour the mud.

    I do know that I’ll get to use some of the great stuff I’ve been hording on that project. Prolly get to buy some more tools too! Yippie-ki-yay!

  15. #35
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    Default What'ya have to go and do that for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Boley View Post


    ... a place in Cleveland, OH known as HGR Industrial Surplus where I bought a Bridgeport mill. That place had eleven acres under roof filled with everything you could imagine being used in the world of manufacturing. In my enthusiasm to tell others of similar interest I described it as “Disney World for electro-mechanical motor head geeks.” Take a look at their site at www.hgrinc.com and you will see what I mean.
    GOSH DARN IT DAVE!

    I just spent two hours of my life on that site!

    Now I've got DROOL IN MY KEYBOARD!

    I'm not anywhere near Ohio and I'm trying to find a way to get Momma (SWMBO) to take a vacation there in the Freightliner!

  16. #36
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    Smile

    Score one for the pack-rats.

    Been fighting a serial comms. problem between a CNC mill and my laptop for days. Have downloaded trial versions of just about every comm. program on the Internet and still no joy. I suspected the problem was the USB to RS232 serial converter I needed to use my new laptop with the mill (the shop is too far from the office for a comms. link to the desktops).

    I remembered seeing one of my old laptops stored in the shop a while ago so I dug it out. There she was, one USB port, the old style printer port, crummy display compared with modern units, it even had Windows 2000 Pro installed - but it also had an RS232 port. The old fellow must be at least five replacements old but I plugged in the comms program and she worked first time.

    Now I have the old laptop as a dedicated file server to the mill and I still have my new laptop available for routine use - and the solution to my problem did not cost a penny. It saved my $150 for an RS232 plug-in card and over $170 for a fancy communications program.

  17. #37
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    Smile Red's Tool Shed

    More than twenty years ago, I got the idea that It would be handy to have a lathe in my shop. A friend called me on Thursday night, "Go with me to Red Rary's auction". I said, "Who is Red Rary?". "Who WAS Red Rary?" "This is his estate sale, and he had a lot of tools." The next day, in a monsoon-type rain, we traveled the twenty miles and registered for the sale. Red had spent his life collecting machine tools. Out of fifteen lathes of all sizes, dozens of mills, planers, and shapers, not to mention the drill presses, grinders, welding and cutting equipment and all the attendant stuff, only three had power. A 13" Southbend, an old camelback drill press, and a grinder. All the others had been literally stuffed into a 60X150 shop with no space to walk between machines. The auctioneer had to step from pile to machine to run the sale. After one layer had been sold and removed, he would start again at the front of the building on the next layer. Late in the day, someone went out for a smoke and found two dozen old cars and another line of mills and grinders hidden by the kudzu out back. The auctioneers and the bidders were getting punch drunk, and I managed to buy a 14" Lodge & Shipley that would form the nucleus of my collection. I came back for the second day. People were bidding and buying, then giving away the stuff that they did not want. There was a handsome older woman there for both days. I assumed that she was the widow, but no, she turned out to be Red's daughter. I asked,"Why did he never use most of this machinery?" She said, "He was happy just to own it, and he was a happy man." When all was said and done at dark on Saturday, I asked the auctioneer if he had ever run a sale like this one. He said,"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, neither you or I will ever see one like this again." He was right, the new owners and riggers worked for four days to move all the stuff. Ever since then, I have felt comfortable in buying or dragging home anything that made me smile. Like Red, I don't have to use it to enjoy it. And when I'm finished with it, it will make someone else just as happy as me. I'm headed to the shop. Regards, Clark

  18. #38
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    There is nothing wrong about pack-ratting. It is a healthy activity, and a form of exercise. Carrying all that good stuff through the maze created in our shops helps us maintain our agility throughout our golden years. Just deciding on a route to follow keeps your brain active.

    My youngest daughter (34) questioned me on what the kids were going to have to deal with when I'm dead. My response was " not my problem..."

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  20. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    There is nothing wrong about pack-ratting. It is a healthy activity, and a form of exercise. Carrying all that good stuff through the maze created in our shops helps us maintain our agility throughout our golden years. Just deciding on a route to follow keeps your brain active.

    My youngest daughter (34) questioned me on what the kids were going to have to deal with when I'm dead. My response was " not my problem..."
    but you decided to dig up an 18 year old thread and make it our problem.
    Thanks

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  22. #40
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    Thread started in 2007, so we've actually been keeping it around for 20 years because we might need it someday. Came close to using it back in '09, but couldn't find it right away so I just started another one...

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