Posted on August 25, 2011 by
Recently Wolf has been on this wicked DIY kick. I’m totally cool with him doing things such as fixing his motorcycle, changing the brakes on the car, and cleaning the totally disgusting bathroom drain by himself. He reports these things are not quite as difficult as we’ve been led to believe.
For instance, the motorcycle I mentioned about was, in fact, a free bike. However, it doesn’t run. Wolf felt up to the challenge to bringing it back to life so he’s been working on it a little bit each week. He downloaded the owners manual from somewhere (I have no idea where) and printed it out and he’s been on all kinds of forums dedicated to his specific bike. He’s replaced all kinds of things it: brakes, carburetors, the battery, and some other stuff. All the while he’s enjoyed the project because of the challenges it poses, the skills he’s learning, and the sense of accomplishment he feels.
The brakes on the car was another DIY job he decided to learn. His boss offered to teach Wolf how to change the brake pads. Wolf took the car down to his boss’ house and within hours the brake pads were fixed for a fraction of the price. Normally it costs around $100 to bring the car down to the mechanic to have the brakes done. Wolf had the whole project done for $50 plus the cost of gas to get to his boss’ house.
The bathroom drain was another big job. Between his hairiness and mine, he felt calling the plumber to clean the gross drain wasn’t really an option due to our low, low budget. Wolf took a page out of The Greenist’s book by pouring baking soda and peroxide down the drain, leaving it over night, then flushing with boiling water. The hair bubbled up to the top so he just pulled the small effigy out of the drain and threw it away. Then he flushed, flushed, flushed with water until it went down without issue.
Wolf has said more than once he feels like he’s been duped. None of these projects are particularly difficult though they can be time consuming. I think the “duping” is a combination of things. First, there’s fear. Fear that you’ll do it wrong and something with break and be more expensive to fix and/or someone else will die because “he did it at home.” Second I think to hire someone to fix the bike, brakes, or drains is a way to show wealth. After all, you need money to hire someone else. And since we’re all about saving money, we’re learning how to do these things ourselves!