Before my dad passed away, we used to spend weekends going to yardsales to find old machines to take apart and fix.
- He was a car mechanic who went back to school to become a mechanical engineer.
Although he worked a variety of jobs over the years, his extensive workshop was always a constant regardless where we lived. He had a table saw, mitre saw, drill press, and a pottery kiln for my mother’s ceramic projects. There were also a multitude of hand tools that I was allowed to use to my heart’s content, assuming I put them back when I was done. This is where I learned how to solder and the skills needed to fix electrical components. My father was obsessed with fixing old machines, especially televisions and VCRs before the age of DVD players and thin, LCD screen TVs. In recent years we looked for old window air conditioners that we could refurbish and sell for a slight profit. Often people will try to unload old heating and cooling equipment for insanely low prices if there are any broken or worn-down components. By spending a few dollars and some time on the weekends, we could take a $20 window air conditioner and get it working again. Then we placed an ad on the internet offering to sell it for $50 or $75 depending on its age. It was a fun project and an excuse for me to spend time with my dad before he passed away. Unfortunately, I put an end to our hobby after his death because I couldn’t handle the grief.