What do you DIY?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    I'm curious what you guys do, that most people would pay someone else to do? I bet there's some people on this forum, for whom the better question would be what do you NOT DIY?

    Let's separate it into 2 categories; things you do regularly, and things you've done only once or handful of times. (no need to include "make my own circuits")

    I'll go first:

    Cut my own hair
    Fix my own cars
    Make my own beer & wine

    Fix my own appliances
    Paint my house. (I HATE painting. Next time I'm recruiting someone from the Home Depot parking lot)

    There's a lot more, but I'm more interested in your stories than telling my own. So let's hear them.
  2. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    making fertilizers
    watch dirty movies
    put in my own stitches
    build and fly RC aircraft
    Minor house maintenance.
    Tying flies and jigs
    Carpentry (Amateur but I can get the job done. Just takes longer to double check everything.)
    Sim-Race (This is kind of DIY since we have to practice for hours on a track building a setup for the race)
  3. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Retiled a bath and a shower stall.

    I hate painting.
  4. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Worked on numerous autos:

    Replaced water pump, radiator, alternators, wiper motors, timing belt, valves and rings, macpherson struts...
  5. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    I don't do concrete, roofing, welding, or copy machines, but I have done a couple of really small concrete jobs, like a maximum of 6 square feet of finished surface. The list of what I have done is incredible...or incredibly boring. Everything from building kitchen cabinets to overhauling automatic transmissions. Here's some stuff made of wood.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  6. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
    Work on my car. Getting too old and they are getting too complicated. Plus I had enough rust in the eye and bruised knuckles to last a life time.

    I leave the furnace to the experts though I have replaced a water heater or two.

    As I live in a townhouse complex, I do not have a choice on any outside stuff but I probably would not do roofing. It is not the height. It is carrying those blasted shingles up the ladder!
  7. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
    Since the Narrowband mandate I've been reprogramming a lot of 2 way radios.
    I love to weld/fabricate stuff out of steel.
    I've installed/wired a lot of vehicles with lights sirens radios.
    I still dabble in electronic security, cctv.

    I used to work as a mechanic in a speed shop, but I'm too old for that now.
    plumbing, if I touch it, it leaks, therefore I don't touch it.
    Carpentry, if I cut something too short I can't weld it back together. And driving nails is hazardous to my thumb, so I leave that alone.
    My wife won't let me near paint :D
  8. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    I do as much as I can myself - If I don't know how to do it then I learn.

    painting - I find it therapeutic.
    bathroom remodels

    shortbus likes this.
  9. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    I make my own sailboat accessories. I built a hard top bimini from thin gauge galvanized steel tube. I used the cheap stuff because I knew I would make mistakes. After I get better, I'll try stainless.
    Sparky49 likes this.
  10. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    I really enjoy painting.

    I'll happily spend hours preparing whatever surface, priming, painting, etc.

    Must be something to do with ocd. :D
  11. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    Cutting my hair
    Fixing my computer(s)
    Fixing my car (actually, I usually have a friend help me do it since I don't usually know what I'm doing)
    Making dinner (I live alone)
    Fix up appliances/furniture (I've fixed cupboards, cabinets, doors, etc rather than calling someone)
    Minor electrical work (I've rewired some switches in my apartment--shh! Don't tell my landlord! :D:D:D)
    Fix my own driveway back home in VT--it's dirt/gravel, so the rain washes it out easily
    "Plow" my driveway back home during the winter (shovel it out, instead of hiring a plow guy)

    That's all I can think of for now. I like to think of myself as a DIY guy, but sometimes things go beyond my expertise and I need to break down and let the experts do it. I've learned that lesson the hard way :p
  12. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    Absolutely everything, because it's all so easy in the information age.

    The only things I contract out are lawnmowing, and emptying grease trap/septic tank etc as those activities are more cost effective or I just prefer paying someone else to do such shitty jobs.

    If I'm building a high-perf motorcycle engine etc I will contract out specific machining tasks, but only because I don't own the right machine (things like head grinding). The rest of the engine work I will do myself.

    Re hobby and home work, and my pro design work I have a lathe, mill, CNC machine, SMD PNP machine, a lot of electronics assembly and test equipment etc.
  13. tubeguy

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2012
    Most everything

    Cut my hair,
    Fix the household appliances
    Remodel houses, plumbing dry walling, tile work, roofing, made cabinets etc...
    Yes, also learn what I need to online
    I Really HATE painting, finishing work
    Fix what I can on the vehicles, was easier years ago...
    Lawn work
    Recently lots of snow-blowing
    Put in a chain link fence
    Repaired a few lawn mowers

    Only hire out septic cleaning.
    Otherwise I don't think I've ever hired an outside tech/repairman other than the cable guy.

    Edit: Forgot... I did hire the oil furnace repair person, too many bad things possible
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  14. killivolt

    Active Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Repair or Replace any appliance, including refrigeration and heating.

    I've done far to much auto repair, I grew up in grease shops, uncle owned one, my brother worked on diesels we had a large shop.

    I try to do my own electronics but, they have gotten more complicated just like cars. Worked part time in TV repair shop for 10yrs and ran the shop for 1yr, when I was out of work. (Thank god for a good data base)

    Landscaping, repair maintenance on the house, I'm not good at roofing, ok carpenter, I'm a better plumber, do my own electrical, under someone else's license.

    Paint, sheetrock, small engine repair. Drills, small appliances toaster etc.

    What ever I can't do, I don't own the tool or tools to do it.

    How the heck do you cut your own hair. Beats me?

    Edit: I don't want anything to do with sewers, yuck.
  15. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    A lot of people have mentioned doing their own hair. I do mine too, I think the trimmer I bought ten years ago has saved me thousands of pounds by now - and lots of time.
    I also do beer, cycle maintenance and cook almost everything from scratch.
  16. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Luckily I have a hair cutting ninja that's by me. This couple from asia, not sure where but its a 37 hour flight. Anyways she or he cuts my hair in 4 min. And it looks great when I leave! $10 + $5 for a tip once a month. Well spent.
  17. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    Looking at these comments, I can narrow down a few things. I always hire somebody else to cut my hair, replace the roof on my house, blow in attic insulation, align the wheels on my car, mount new tires, paint the car/truck, do valve jobs, and do doctor stuff and dentist stuff. It wouldn't be legal for me to climb the pole and connect cable services, so I don't, but I could. And, that's the whole list of things I have hired other people to do in the last 40 years.

    I have replaced car and truck engines, built wooden kitchen cabinets, ceiling lights, and some furniture, rebuilt my own car's automatic transmission, and about a dozen others, uncountable brake jobs, alternators, batteries, U-joints, tie rod ends, fuel pumps, water pumps, wheel bearings, shock absorbers, starters, radiators, spark plugs and their wires, ECU units, a few shorted/burnt wires in a car, install car stereos, replace dashboard instruments and light bulbs, rebuild the air conditioning system in cars, design and install central air conditioning and heating (electric, oil, and gas burners), repair all the "white goods" like stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, clothes washers and dryers, water softeners, trash compactors, microwave ovens, plus TV repair, antennas, antenna distribution systems, modems, and computer repairs. I do all sorts of residential plumbing from faucet washers to replacing the 4 inch sewer pipe and everything in between, drywall, paneling, painting, hanging doors, installing and repairing locks and deadbolts, smoke alarms, repair windows (both the glass and the operating mechanisms), garage door openers, well water pumps, diesel emergency generators, vinyl soffit and fascia, outdoor lighting, house wiring, sound and light for live performance, electronic design work, lasers and their support electronics, VHF and UHF radios, doctor equipment like otoscopes, microscopes, muscle stimulation machines, and diathermy. I also, maintain and improve tools like drills, drill presses, band saws, jig saws, sanders, planers, table saws, lathes, mills, impact drivers, hydraulic jacks, and a few other things.

    As I said, the things I don't do is a shorter list.

    These pix are: a door I installed in a Lawyers office, an amplifier I designed to go inside the 1/4 inch plug on a guitar cord, and the shed I do my dirty work in.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
    strantor likes this.
  18. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    I'm very surprised to see more people cutting their own hair. I thought I was probably the only one who would say that. Anyway, #12, I've done almost all the things you listed there on autos, minus rebuilding transmissions, but probably way fewer times than you. I've got 2 machine tool restoration projects sitting in the garage right now. I had 3, but sold one. Just got my old drill press back together over the weekend after replacing all the bearings.
  19. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
    My wife cuts my hair, before that it was my sister (40 years ago) .Last time I was in a barbers chair I was probably 10 years old...I take that back it was in 1970 at Parris Island.
  20. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    and...mow the lawn, trim the trees, remove trees, and plant trees. I ran a 1000 square foot vegetable garden for about 7 years, practiced having sex until I was good at it, studied psychology for 3 years, then acted as a councilor for the next 4 years, designed and built about 200 feet of wooden fence (horizontal shadowbox style) added a 4' by8' overhang on my roof to keep the rain from splashing on my back door, built my own lawn mower out of 2 other lawn mowers and a small tractor, designed and built some power supplies for my electronics work bench, built kit oscilloscopes and signal generators, installed 2' by 4' drop ceilings (using the metal "T" shaped grid system), tore a bathroom out to the studs and replaced everything from the plastic floor tiles to the fan in the ceiling, cobbled together more than one air compressor over the years, and contributed to a top notch internet electronics site for a few years.

    I'm sure I missed a few things but I am growing weary of this diversion.
    This is a knife rack I made out of leftover scraps from the 8 foot fluorescent fixture (middle pic) and the guitar amp I made for myself.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
    absf and strantor like this.