resources for fixers

Walter Whittel Patch, 1975

“patch”, by walter whittel, 1975

A clear sign of our economic times, the Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the growing trend of folks who attempt home repairs before throwing out a broken appliance. The article cites notable increases in customer service calls for help with do-it-yourself home repairs, and increases in the sales of replacement parts.

We love that “fixing” is trend now, since we’re advocates for creative home repairs (you might recall our taped-up headphones, or the floss-mended sneakers). It also cools out the part of us that cringes at waste and the endless buying of more and more things.

But we also know that home fixes can be overwhelming, especially if its for an appliance that feels complicated and unfamiliar. Unconsumption, who pointed us to the WSJ article, included a link for ManualsOnline.com where you can download user manuals for over 300,000 appliances for free, along with where to buy parts. It’s often possible to keep something going for years with simply by replacing a part.  For those of us who lost track of our manual for our sewing machine years ago, this site is a great resource.

We want more information for wanna-be fixers! From phone-lines, to manuals, to local fixing collectives, there’s always room for more. Where do you get your fixer’s fix?

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4 Responses to resources for fixers

  1. Rebecca 11.24.2011 at 10:02pm #

    You asked where do I find my fixer resources? I married a farmer. And not just any farmer – I married a DAIRY farmer. He came with a work-til-it’s done, nothing is impossible attitude and having been exposed to everything from early morning, bone-chilling cold work to all day, skin-searing heat work, nothing is considered too hard. He’s famous for telling our kids that when you live on a farm and you don’t do your chores, things die, so just get on with it! Growing up on farm, kids are exposed to building big and small structures, electrical, plumbing, hardware options and tools that can do everything, not to mention an endless line of things to fix. Mix the skills of a farmer in with an appreciation for where all living things begin and you’ve got the best DIY person (not to mention husband).

  2. sahana martin 11.28.2011 at 9:38am #

    Have you seen this :
    http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-thefixers,0,1408656.storygallery
    ?

    D-i-y should be part of what we learn growing up , including building a tree house and knowing wild berries and plants :)

    Thanks for all the links !
    sahana

    ps. going to find myself a nice farmer

  3. Sally 11.29.2011 at 11:52am #

    I’ve long considered the farmers know to be the ultimate unrecognized improvisers. They come up with solutions to problems daily, without anyone necessarily being aware of them but lots of people benefiting from them. They literally think on their feet, something we all can do. It’s a practice that gets better from doing. Thanks a million for the reminder!

  4. Sally 11.29.2011 at 11:54am #

    Thanks so much for the link. It’s a really great and heartening group of people. We NEED them.

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