This blog post by Austin Kleon reminded me of a few projects I’ve worked on the past couple of weeks.
First, it’s worth noting that I haven’t been excited about working on any vintage receivers this week. I needed a break from a few projects that have me stumped. I find when I pressure myself to rush a repair job I often mess things up and make it worse. Remember, this is a hobby for me. I should be enjoying it.
Instead, what I have enjoyed is repairing more mechanical items in vintage electronics such as cassette decks, boomboxes and Walkmans. Usually their issues are due to bad belts which require the removal and cleaning of the old belt and the installation of a new one.
I enjoyed repairing these items but felt guilty for spending time on more trivial repairs that will not bring in the same money as working on a vintage receiver might. This isn’t the proper thinking as my hobby should be for the fun of the repair, not the pressure of making money.
The items I recently repaired aren’t what most people would consider valuable. One item was a plastic Sony boombox from the 1990s and the other a small Walkman from the 80s. But I wanted to get inside the units and see how they work, replace the belts and see if I could “mend” the item.
Austin’s article reminded me that the mending of the item is what should be more important rather than the value of the final transaction. It is silly to “mend” a broken Sony boombox from the 1990s? Is it a waste of time to repair a Walkman in 2020?
I don’t know if you think mending those items are a valuable use of time or not, but I sold both items this week, the Sony boombox for $90 and the Walkman for $50. I paid $35 for the boombox and $12 for the Walkman so there was plenty of profit baked in to those sales.
More importantly than the profit, I had fun repairing the units. It was enjoyable trying to get them working again and each time I work on one, I get faster at the repair and usually learn something new.
The older I get the more I like this idea of mending something old before buying something new.