Scrounge: Sometimes You Have To Buy New

Being “between paychecks” can be very costly. A machine that can be repaired with a $75 dollar part might also be fixed for less than $5, but take 6 hours to do. That time was certainly needed elsewhere. The same applies to tools, sometimes a new tool can do a job much faster, but that $100 is needed for a bill. Or gasoline to get to the next job. Some scrounge incidents do save a lot of money. Today, I needed to cover the wheels on a large truck. I had an old blue tarp that had a few holes in it. I tore it into three parts, which worked very well for the job. Below are 3 tasks I’ve done in the last week, each one required buying relatively expensive parts.

In the first picture, is a 1950’s bench grinder. When I set it up on the plywood scrap, I used a household light switch to turn it on and off. The switch was new, left over from a home improvement project. It stopped working, my guess is that I needed one made for higher amperage. So I discarded the 69 cent one, and bought a $3 one (in the package), rated for higher amps; which should work well.In the next picture, there’s a 240 volt motor. I bought an air compressor at a church rummage sale. The parts work well, but the tank blew a hole through the bottom shortly after I brought it home. That’s OK, the price was very good. Shortly after, a friend gave me another 240 volt compressor, with a 100% duty rating. So I never got around to rebuilding the first one. Now though, I want a different table saw that the “Tippy-Top one I have; to make wood products to sell. This motor will restore a Craftsman table saw that I have. I also had the 6 gauge wire, which was in very good condition. I think I got that on one of our salvage runs. There have been a few times when people told me I had 24 hours to get what I wanted from a property, before it was demolished or sold.

The cost here came in the other parts. You can see a metal box, with a switch and an outlet. The box was about $4, the double throw switch was about $11, and the male wire plug end was about $16. That will make it a safe, clean job. You can see that the box also has a 120 volt outlet. The wire has 4 strands, and provided an extra neutral wire to make that happen.Below is a grey colored breaker box. to the right of it, I’ve run 6 gauge wire out to a plastic box with a new 240 volt, 30 amp outlet. The box was 99cents, but the outlet was about $7. This will allow me to run the 240 volt air compressor at the barn.