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Author Topic: The resurgence of repair  (Read 798 times)
Clym Angus
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« on: May 04, 2016, 12:52:44 pm »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35884856

interesting article and I realise that one movement does not a revolution make but still. It is heartening to know that at least some people eventually get sick of things designed to break.
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morozow
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 02:40:25 pm »

It's time corporations will produce products specifically designed for breakage and wear, little will change.
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Sorry for the errors, rudeness and stupidity. It's not me, this online translator. Really convenient?
Clym Angus
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 03:26:27 pm »

They do that already! One of my dearest friends removed herself from the "consumer jewellery industry" because she was being forced to add stress points into her designs. These were timed to fail at 10 hours 20 hours and 40 hours worth of wear.

Failure is already part of the system and has been for at least 30 years in many industries. Personally, I find the idea of made to break, repulsive.
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morozow
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 04:08:44 pm »

Again, the online translator is not working properly.

Yes. Corporations create items prone to rapid wear and breakage. And intentionally create difficulties in repair.
This is the basis problems.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 05:45:29 pm »

Again, the online translator is not working properly.

Yes. Corporations create items prone to rapid wear and breakage. And intentionally create difficulties in repair.
This is the basis problems.

Indeed. (and I'm sorry if I came across a little abrupt there). But many companies jettisoned their "spares" departments back in the 80's.
Then the internet turned up and suddenly cannibalisation of dead but "spare full" tech was back on the menu.

Arguably this is the problem that Apple are having. They have sunk considerable resources into making their tech "anti-lego". Problem is people remember Humpty Dumpty product (drop it once and your done) especially when it comes to items that should be fairly rugged.
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Atterton
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 10:22:44 am »

Clym: Now I feel like your translator is failing.
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 11:09:40 am »

Sometimes, repair requires the making of a new part, and unless you have access to some specialised equipment (and the knowledge to use it), the task is next to impossible. For example, I had to repair a diaphragm on a very old lens a while back. Without access to a miniature lathe and a CNC mill, it would have been close to impossible. As it was, finding the raw materials was difficult enough.

Repairing modern electronic tech is next to impossible, but most other things can be fixed if you have access to the tools, equipment, and materials.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2016, 11:22:32 am »

Clym: Now I feel like your translator is failing.

Not my fault I was born after my time. I'm a sixties stream of conciousness, jump 2 words, keep up if you can kind of person. I would have thought people would have gotten this by now. Cheesy
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morozow
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2016, 11:22:46 am »

I've been thinking. Angrily branding the Corporation is not quite right. Still there is progress. And associated changes, both in technology and in people's psychology.

I tried to structure a bit:
1) Clothes. It is possible to fix. Limitation – the psychology of people.
2) Small electronic equipment. Repairing does not make sense.
3) Major appliances. Here and the conspiracy of the manufacturers. And objective conditions. For example, engines of cars, must meet more stringent environmental standards. And therefore harder, "thinner", less prone to repair.
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Atterton
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2016, 12:10:49 pm »

You should check out the Fairphone. Besides being made without conflict minerals, it is also modular to make repairs and replacements easy.
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Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2016, 06:01:17 pm »

Clym: Now I feel like your translator is failing.

As long as it's repairable... Wink

HP
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2016, 11:43:25 am »

Clym: Now I feel like your translator is failing.

As long as it's repairable... Wink

HP
Bacon Wednesday chrysanthemum Finland!
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Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2016, 07:58:59 pm »

Clym: Now I feel like your translator is failing.

As long as it's repairable... Wink

HP
Bacon Wednesday chrysanthemum Finland!

That's better!
 Grin

HP
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Banfili
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2016, 08:25:13 am »

The Hoovermatic Twin Tub washing machine that sits proudly in my laundry is 30 years or so old. I have had it since Feb 1997 when it was retrieved from my late step-mother's abode. In the time I have had it I have replaced the set of belts that drive it along twice, and one hose. Parts are still available for this particular machine, I think, because it is such a 'stayer' - I have had friends who have had to replace their automatic washing machines 3 or 4 times in the same period of time. 20-30 minutes of use a week, and it goes on forever!
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2016, 08:47:58 am »

I beleive the demise of the formerly ubiquitous repair shop came about when the cost of time and materials to repair the device exceeded the cost  of buying a new and improved one.

Cost of Labor is oft' the driving cost - what skilled repairman wants to work for what breaks down to $2 an hour after costs, and how can he afford to keep his shop open?

The lack of available parts is the other driving force. If the repairman cannot get spares he cannot provide service.

I mtself had to ditch a 7 year old mini-split airconditioner because
1) a formerly common part on the control circuit board died
b) the manufacturor stopped making this model 6 years ago and stopped carrying parts 5 years ago as a cost-cutting action
    necessary to stay in business
iii) I did not have the time or test equipment to troubleshoot the circuit

My solution was to gut the dam'd thing to keep as spares for the other one, and get a new LG model that claims to carry spares for much longer.

One heartening thing is the advent of the 3d printers. As they mature, and the range of materials expands, I expect to see more oddball repair  parts getting made. I had to replace a crock pot due to handle failure. Parts were complicated and unavailable; I was preparing to manufacture my own in aluminum using lost-foam casting, but my Lovely Spousal UNit decided she did not want to wait for 9-12 months for a working crockpot :-) . So we bought a new one, and the old one is in the shop getting used as a hide-glue-pot.

just my 2 bits

yhs
prof marvel
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Captain Trellis
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2016, 04:26:57 pm »

Professor Marvel's words ring true, but....


I used to repair classic and vintage cameras (nothing plastic) from my home workshop. Limited overheads, decent hours, very pleasant (and handsome) boss; it was a specialist/collector market and my charges were more than reasonable.

And then along came ebay.

Now, a collector with a busted camera can buy a replacement camera from some guy in Latvia, cheaper than I can fix it. My phone used to ring 3-4 times a day, now it barely rings once a month.

A lot of the old skills are still around, but the market has moved on. It's called progress; we can't halt it, and sometimes it's painful.

 Sad


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RJBowman
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2016, 04:37:16 pm »

Modern industrial design focuses on making everything as cheap to manufacture as possible, in massive numbers, with the result being irreparable products that have to be junked when they break down.

So you get plastic cases heat-welded together instead of secured with screws. You get silicon chips glued to the board under a blob of epoxy instead of a neat socketed IC that can be removed and replaced. You get car dashboard units containing multiple switches that have to be replaced when one single switch fails.

The tradeoff is that we have pocket calculators available in dollar stores, and minimized manufacturing defects in highly-standardized manufactured goods.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2016, 02:40:17 am »

I'm sorry gentlemen. But bollocks. (and I'm drawing on the "punk" part of steampunk here but still, rampaging balls) and I'll tell you why. There are things in this life that are immunt to change. One cannot suddenly change the diameter of an inlet pipe of a plumbing sysetem because you can "sell more units" and have a beholden consumer. We standardised it. For the betterment of all. With standardisation comes the probability of repair. Today I fixed my next door neighbours cistern a feat that was only possible by standardisation. With consistency comes the possibility of repair more over the probability of inovation .
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2016, 02:09:41 pm »

As plumbing has been mentioned, I am finding more and more over the years spares are just not available any more for older boilers and don't even get me started on the qaulity of modern push button cistern mechanisms and float valves, which again spares seem somewhat sparse, replace is the only the option, with more flimsy cheap plastic shit destined to fail sooner than later.

My biggest gripe is cordless drills and the price of replacement batteries, it's actually cheaper to throw out a perfectly good drill and its knackered batteries, then buy a whole new kit than OEM batteries alone. WHY? I am starting to collect a veritable graveyard of the things.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2016, 02:19:56 pm »

As plumbing has been mentioned, I am finding more and more over the years spares are just not available any more for older boilers and don't even get me started on the qaulity of modern push button cistern mechanisms and float valves, which again spares seem somewhat sparse, replace is the only the option, with more flimsy cheap plastic shit destined to fail sooner than later.

My biggest gripe is cordless drills and the price of replacement batteries, it's actually cheaper to throw out a perfectly good drill and its knackered batteries, then buy a whole new kit than OEM batteries alone. WHY? I am starting to collect a veritable graveyard of the things.

Really? I stand very much corrected. Although I do have to say that I find this very very depressing. The reinvention of the wheel has never sat well with me. Maybe I'm getting old or I just don't appreciate the need to constantly resell people items they already own.

Sometimes I think I'm getting bitter in my older age then again maybe the world is getting slowly more and more cynical and profit orientated.
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Banfili
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2016, 02:20:34 pm »

One reason why I don't use cordless drills, saws, etc., and I am very annoyed that I have a perfectly good printer that I am going to have  to tip purely because I can no longer get ink for it. Not to mention that ink costs more than the bloody printer in the first place!
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Maets
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2016, 07:26:34 pm »

I guess the key is knowing when it makes sense to fix and when it makes sense to buy new.  Sometimes it is not all that obvious.
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Atterton
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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2016, 08:04:43 pm »

We're the victim of our own success in many ways.
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2016, 06:09:33 am »

There is hope: I just bought a new electric canopener.
( I have 2 very good manual ones, but my wife's handstrength is not what it was.)

This canopener has a removeable ( and thus replaceable) lever/cutter device with a replaceable blade!

The rest is just standard AC motor geared down to run the external cog for rotating the can.
All simple, all serviceable.

If they stop making parts, I can fabricate most, including the cutter blade.

Since it only cost $13 at the local hardware store, if it passes the Spousal Test for about a month I'll buy another to put away.

This, by the way, is the hardware store that I get almost all my bits from; they also still carry Alladin Lamps & parts, cheap hurricane oil lamps & parts, and Lodge Cast Iron Cookware!

yhs
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Banfili
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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2016, 08:08:16 am »

That Hoovermatic Twin Tub has now sprung a leak - I will have to remove the back next week, and see what hose needs replacing - fortunately, spares are always available!!
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