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Thread: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 Noontime (disposable) question from Michaelskis

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Wednesday, November 16, 2005 Noontime (disposable) question from Michaelskis

    While moving some things in my apartment last weekend, a bookshelf that I had for several years fell apart. Looking at how to put it back together I realize that it was more or less sawdust and glue with wood grain plastic on outside. I then went out and bought a small sold wood bookshelf. I figure I can maintain it, refinish it in the future if needed, and maybe even pass it down to future generations.

    Do you buy disposable items or items that you can get fixed or refinished? Do you get your furniture refinished or reupholstered? Do you get your shoes resoled or toss them?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian
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    I gave up on boxed furniture after I got married. A lot of the stuff didn't survive the move and I wanted to acquire furniture that would last. I started making my own bookshelves, filing cabinets, and endtables. I also designed and built my entertainment center.

    I search auctions and rummage sales for dressers and hutches. After refinishing them and sometimes rebuilding the drawers, they are as good as new.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I used to buy crap furniture, but I've been replacing it with higher quality stuff (real wood). I too noticed that the stuff was junk when I needed to fix things. Once I started to buy the real stuff, the fake stuff started to look real fake. The real stuff as you said will last a lifetime, so it is really a much better buy. If I had to do itr over it would be Milk Crates while I bought nice stuff. Still have a crappy Microwave stand in use.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    I search auctions and rummage sales for dressers and hutches. After refinishing them and sometimes rebuilding the drawers, they are as good as new.
    That is a great idea. I am going to start doing that.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    There's a lot of particle board in my apartment unfortunatly. I'd like to buy nice things but typically I don't buy things except when I need them and then I don't have enough money to indulge in quality.

    I do have nice hand-me-down things from family members though, including my coffee table, my leather chair, some of my pots and kitchen knives, etc.

  6. #6
    Since I plan on being carried out of my current home feet first, we buy the good stuff.

    Off-topic:
    Wood bookshelves emit gasses that are harmful to paper. If you have rare books, or hope that your current library will one day be rare, use metal or other synthetics to avoid destroying your rare books. (Okay, I'm truly a geek .)
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Furniture - almost always have reupholstered or rebuilt.

    Shoes - I frequently resole, although the quality of shoes seem lately to have declined enough I have not considered the last two pairs' tops worth salvaging to resole.

    Socks - didn't darning die out in the 19th century?

    clothing - occasionally try to sew smaller tears but often discard if too seriously damaged.

    books - never actually had one rebound but agree in principle that its a nice idea.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I have little particle board at home although would consider it if it looked ok.
    I did buy particle board for the new office. Not ready to invest in office stuff yet.

    I wood never buy a particle board dresser. I would usually buy used. I have alot of antique stuff at home.

    Shoes are cheap and toss.

    Clothes cheap and toss.

    I am throw away on some things and good and pass down with others.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I have some disposable furniture, mostly book cases and some hand crafted "art" furniture as well (shelves, night stand).

    My book cases, have acid free paper liners on most shelves. Collectible books and signed books tend to be sealed in mylar bags.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Have been buying some nicer furniture.

    Shoes-no way. I have horrible pronation and simply destroy shoes very quickly. No way to keep them. Besides, I wouldn;t want to cut Phillip Knight's or sports stars salaries by economizing, would I?

    I tend to keep my clothes for a long, long time. I'm wearing a soft, very comfortable Ralph Lauren shirt I bought close out 10 years ago-and it still looks nice.

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    I buy old/used furniture (with the intention of refinishing but rareyl get around to it ) I have several antique pieces from estate sales, figure they may not look as good as something new out of a box but it will last much longer and has to potential to look good if I would get off my a$$ and work on them
    Shoes - never had a pair resoled, I have so many shows that I rarely wear any of the down, when I do they are worn beyond repair and thrown away...
    Anything else: toys, books, etc, nope I am not a saver I donate boxes of crap to goodwill once every 3 months

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Interesting question, here are a few relevant experiences from our life:

    1. I went iron shopping last year. Usually with small household appliances, I buy the cheapest one available, figuring that they are so poorly built they are disposable. This time I opted to buy one of the more expensive irons. It broke almost immediately and finally stopped working last week. This time we went to a discount store and bought a really cheap one. Turns out, it is much heavier and more durable than the supposed higher end model from last year.

    2. I frequently have appliances, clothing and shoes repaired. The wife is more likely to just throw them away and buy new ones. It is still easy to find cobblers, tailors, and appliance repairmen around here. I still have the same Aiwa stereo that my dad gave me in 1994 and speakers he bought in the 1980s. We also have a Cuisinart food processor from the early-1980s. I ordered a new bowl for it on-line last year. The wife wanted to throw it away, of course.

    Overall, I am amazed at how cheaply built things are today, especially furniture and home electronics. Solid wood furniture is hard to come by, as is non-plastic electronic equipment.

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    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    I tend to by middle of the road everything. The good furniture I once had, now resides at the ex's house. Good clothes (Lands End shirts, Rockport Shoes, etc....) last a lot longer than the cheap stuff. The whole concept of "disposable" seems reflect what is IMHO one of the greatest shortcomings of our culture. We rarely do something that has lasting value. I think architecture-buildings (one of the strongest symbols of a strong society) shows how devoid we are of a willingness to build a legacy for our grandchildren. Downtown buildings were built to last, most fast food restaurants are not.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

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    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Shoes-no way. I have horrible pronation and simply destroy shoes very quickly. No way to keep them. Besides, I wouldn;t want to cut Phillip Knight's or sports stars salaries by economizing, would I?

    .
    Your shoes may actually last longer and wear better if you get good ones, wear them for awhile, then take them into a good shoe repair place to have a look at them. They'll be able to assess how the heal should be replaced to give you better posture and help the shoes wear longer.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    I currently use the coffee grinder my parents bought soon after they married, in the seventies, which makes it a good seventeen years older then I am. The damn thing just won't die! The actual grinder bit is tungsten, so its all still holding on. I'm just concern about my mother's choice of colour... it is vivid orange and brown. Apparantly it matched the kitchen......

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    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Being the youngest in my family, I've had the good fortune of receiving everyone else's unwanted junk for free. Most of it is pre-particle board era. But often hulkingly big and oversize for my needs. I also keeps eyes peeled for freshly evicted office furniture. When people are getting rid of something decent but don't need anymore, they often set it out on the sidewalk rather than putting it in a dumpster. As if to say "This is decent stuff; still works; take it, it's free". This reminds me, I've got a couple of shelves with brackets for wall mounting.

    Even if I was wealthy, I think it would still seem kinda staid to me to buy all new matching furniture. I like to have an apartment of immigrant furniture. They learn to get along. Sometimes they seek asylum; other times I have to liberate them. One man's eviction can become another's man's treasure. And what is junk to some, represents thrift and frugality to another.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I would also shy away from the cheap particle board for anything except a short-term apartment.

    I also extend that to cars. For some-odd reason, late 1990s GM cars will simply not rust. Except for a few dings and scratches, the body on my 1997 Cavalier is as good as the day it was built (yes, here in Wisconsin) and it is already well into its second engine. Since I have no intention of selling it anytime soon, I have no interest whatsoever in what it is 'worth', instead basing repair decisions on the cost of the repairs vs the expected additional life of the vehicle before more repairs are needed vs the cost of a replacement car. So far, it has been a no-brainer to repair the Cavalier.



    Mike

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    We are pretty good about furniture. We have been lucky that my parents have had the determination to only buy quality solid wood furniture and often reupholstered the furniture, and are expert at estate auction and such. Well, they have passed on an entire living room and dining room worth of quality furntiure to us.

    My particular favorite is our dining table which was purchased used by my maternal grandparents in 1914 when they settled down in northern Michigan (Alpena County) after immigrating from Germany. So this table is on its fourth generation in the family and I intend to pass it on.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    As a college student and newer entry into the work force, I did not have the luxury of buying good furniture. Even when I did I might only be able to afford a single piece, so nothing matched very well. Now that I can, I tend to buy good quality. My oak and hickory bedroom set cost $5500, but it looks great and will last for generations.

    Auctions in the midwest were always an outstanding way to collect good antique furniture. I bought a 1910 couch for $300 a few years ago, and sold it last month for $650. I bought a piano for $300 and just had somebody offer me $1000 for it. I don't know if I want to part with it, though.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Shoes - I frequently resole, although the quality of shoes seem lately to have declined enough I have not considered the last two pairs' tops worth salvaging to resole.

    Socks - didn't darning die out in the 19th century?
    HERE HERE! Shoes are crap these days but they still cost $100-$125. Whats the deal with that?

    I've been known to darn favorite socks.

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    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    I've developed a distaste for old furniture and knick-knacks. Like Karim Rashid, I note that the car I drive is not in a style of 50 years ago and the clothes I wear are not in a historic style. I think it goes with a sense of optimism about the future, that the designers of today are capable of producing something better. Believing that the best was done in the past, that older is better can bring about a melancholic pining for the good old days. I want the past in the past and the history in the books as far as my personal environment and style is concerned.

    But yeah, pressboard leaves a few things to be desired. I can't stand stuff that breaks easily. On the other hand, it is biodegradeable, and you can buy new so cheaply and stay current. I just don't like stale furnishings and tastes. Ever go into someone's house that looks like it hasn't changed since 1959? It can be fascinating, but I also find it depressing, like these people reached the apex of their personal taste early in life and didn't evolve or expose themselves to new ideas.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I have hard-to-fit feet so when I find a pair of shoes that fits and are comfortable I resole them.

    When I was in grad school and while looking for a job after grad school, I was pretty close to broke always. I restitched and patched my clothes to make them last. Then I got a job in a small town in Alaska. So I had money but the only clothes available were t-shirts, jeans and Carharts. So I didn't buy much.

    When my fiance moved in, she was appalled at my clothes. She actually would wait til I left for work then throw out my clothes. Granted some of my favorite pieces were clothes a former girlfriend had given me. On our honeymoon we stayed a day in Juneau and our first stop was the mall. I bought enough clothes to last me a year. Since then my wife has bought me clothes for my birthdays and Christmas.

    At home we have a few nice pieces fo furniture and some disposable pieces, which we will one day replace with better stuff. I must say I don't really care whether the furniture is nice or disposable. As long as it functions within the accepted parameters.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I have one pair of shoes that fit me perfectly that I've had resoled twice. My other shoes go in the garbage as they are usually in such bad condition when I finish with them that they're not worth salvaging.

    I go through my clothes quarterly and take stuff I don't need to a local resale shop.

    About 60% of my furniture is good stuff. The entertainment center is a "college crap" leftover from my dorm days, but we have some really great hand-me-down Lazyboy furniture and an antique marble coffee table (deco era). We have a really cool modern dining table that we snagged and refinished for $40 at a yard sale. Our bedroom furniture was also hand-me-down and is more midline for quality that we would like to replace in about five years. The computer desk is another case of "college crap" that wobbles and has several beer stains on it. It's damn near impossible to find hardwood furniture these days without being forced to sell your first-born. We will probably do a lot of refinishing.

    In the "they don't make 'em like they used to" category, I submit for your consideration our toaster. This toaster started life as a wedding gift for my parents in 1968. 37 years later my parents gave us that toaster as a joke wedding gift and it is still going. We also have a 15 year-old microwave that I've nicknamed the radiation box; it's getting replaced as a Christmas present to ourselves.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    When my uncle died, about a dozen years ago, my father was too frail to be a good manager of his brother's estate....so this Bear assumed that role. Down in his damp basement was a beautiful old curio cabinet, with broken glass doors. My uncle had wisely placed the frail legs of the cabinet on plastic casters, with thin plywood lightly stapled to the bottom of the legs. This act of kindness to this fine old piece of furniture saved its' life.

    I brought it home, cleaned and polished it, replaced the glass. It remains in my living room today, a beautiful piece that represents a time gone by.
    _____

    OTHO.....our media center piece, built from a "kit" is a real piece of sxxx. It will be replaced soon.....but Katie and I have to finish our argument about how to replace it.

    Here in Fulton County, OH, we have the world's largest manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture. They are actually a pretty good citizen, paying nice wages, involved in their community (Archbold, OH), recycling a lot of by-products, etc. I just have a problem with their furniture.....yech.

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