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I Made It in The USA

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  • I Made It in The USA

    Putting my snowblower away for the season I noticed the skid plates worn down and needing replacement. I could get them off the Internet for $25 made in china. I had some scrap plate steel with a right angle lip on hand so I decided to trace the pattern and proceeded to cut them out with my Ridgid cordless reciprocating saw. I ground and sanded the edges smooth and gave them a coat of rustoleum. It felt good to make something and it felt good to beat the "product of china" for once.

  • #2
    Re: I Made It in The USA

    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Putting my snowblower away for the season I noticed the skid plates worn down and needing replacement. I could get them off the Internet for $25 made in china. I had some scrap plate steel with a right angle lip on hand so I decided to trace the pattern and proceeded to cut them out with my Ridgid cordless reciprocating saw. I ground and sanded the edges smooth and gave them a coat of rustoleum. It felt good to make something and it felt good to beat the "product of china" for once.
    Don't put that little guy away yet. We still have to brace for Nature's April's Fools Day Nor'easter prank.

    Keep in mind, fixing a snowthrower that's been "Hecho en China" is still foreign made.

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    • #3
      Re: I Made It in The USA

      Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
      Don't put that little guy away yet. We still have to brace for Nature's April's Fools Day Nor'easter prank.

      Keep in mind, fixing a snowthrower that's been "Hecho en China" is still foreign made.

      I hope I didn't jinx things by putting it away. Thirty year old Toro, made in Minnesota. I think they still manufacture in the USA, hard to believe if true that parts are made here? I feel a small victory anytime I can repair or replace anything that breaks or is poorly made regardless of origin. I figure it saves me buying new which is more than likely made in china. Most often it's a plastic part that should have been made of metal.

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      • #4
        Re: I Made It in The USA

        Way to go Franki

        I am in complete agreement with you, on fixing "stuff"... I absolutely hate to throw away anything that can be fixed, at least when it can still function and look good.

        There's still stuff in my inventory of "stuff" that was made in the U.S., like my early 2000 lawn mower and my mid-2000 Craftsman air compressor. The latter was a bit of a surprise, but it was made by DeVilbiss here in the U.S. and it has a American-made ASME tank. But who knows about some of the other components. But I figure one could have the same questions about almost anything bought today... I'm sure even your new car or truck has more than a few components from China. I've still got a bunch of old tools from the 60's and 70's though.

        My old 1974 Craftsman RAS is still working great and a couple of years ago I bought a used one of the same model, just for parts. My grandson will probably have to junk it after I'm gone, but until then it's a shop essential.

        Bottom line is that I think we throw away too much, without giving them a closer look for repair (like the recently discussed shop vacs, that can't have their brushes replaced). Theirs something to be said about my grandparent's generation when one used it, repaired it, and used it again until it reached the point where it was just "used up". But of course, the flip side of that is that in a "consumer economy" one simply isn't doing their part, if they're too frugal.

        Nice work,

        CWS

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        • #5
          Re: I Made It in The USA

          One of the toro distribution centers is 6 miles from me.

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          • #6
            Re: I Made It in The USA

            I think I was lucky to have been around some people who had that fix it mentality and capability while growing up. My Dad loved to tinker with stuff, although he did not have the benefit of a workshop, or very many tools. I worked with a senior lineman who was also a machinist in his spare time. I bought an old Ingersol Rand compressor and the reed valves were bad. I showed them to this man and he took a length of spring steel from some crate banding and the next day I had perfect replacements for my compressor.

            A lot of folks don't realize the potential some items have for repair, or the cost savings and satisfaction involved in trying to do it yourself.

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            • #7
              Re: I Made It in The USA

              As bad as it may seem, the United States still out produces the rest of the world by 3 to 1 margin, including China.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: I Made It in The USA

                Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                As bad as it may seem, the United States still out produces the rest of the world by 3 to 1 margin, including China.
                I don't doubt your statistics, I am only referring to the many consumer goods I see available. When I look at clothing labels, I see vietnam, sri lanka, china, not USA. We all know most tools, machines and supplies seem to come from china. Maybe some high end stuff is still made here, but certainly not consumer level products.

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                • #9
                  Re: I Made It in The USA

                  Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                  As bad as it may seem, the United States still out produces the rest of the world by 3 to 1 margin, including China.
                  Unfortunately, not so. The US GDP is over 3 times the size of China's. However, despite the name, the "Gross Domestic Product" GDP is a not the same thing as production, as it includes amounts associated with government spending, investment and services. Our hugely bloated government spends $3.7T, which is roughly the GDP of China. Right off the bat, this should point out how sick things are with our economy.

                  About 70% of our GDP is related to consumption. This includes things like retail services, marketing, and health care -- all of which are not production. These are not even "exportable services". The US remains a great store of wealth, which means that the 'investment' part of the equation is very large. Again, this is not production.

                  China's GDP number is also small because they have artificially controlled the exchange rate. This keeps Chinese goods inexpensive in Europe and the US, which promotes their continue growth via their exports. The result of this policy is that China now has a significant inflation problem. For the past few months, they've been increasing interest rates to combat this and will ultimately have to allow their currency to depeg from the dollar and rise in value. Thus, their GDP will go up simply as a consequence of monetary policy. As you know, the US has been very critical of China's monetary policy as DC believes that it is hurting US exports to China. This is technically correct, but unfortunately another case of our Gov't missing the point. We don't have sufficient manufacturing base left in the US at this point to make much difference, especially in the near term.

                  If we were smart (I know how silly that sounds) the US would (a) eliminate burdensome taxes and regulation that compel industry to take manufacturing out of the US, and (b) start importing machinery, tooling and other items from ANY country where these are cheaper, in order to rebuild the US domestic industrial base. Let other countries subsidize our re-industrialization -- using the same weapon they used to take market share from us. For example, Chinese tooling for die casting and plastic injection molding costs are about 20-30% of what the same tooling would cost in the US. This is in part because there is are so few doing that work in the US, and in large part because of the low labor costs in China. Cheap labor is cited as a reason why the US can't compete in manufacturing with China, and for the most part that argument is waaaay overblown. But there are SOME areas (like production tooling) where low labor DOES give them a huge advantage. We are, unfortunately, asleep in the US and do not use these things to our advantage.

                  The predicament we find ourselves in is all fallout from the insane notion, promoted starting back in the 1970s, that the US should embrace the notion of a "service economy". Thank you, once again, Harvard MBAs. Would you like rice or chow mein with that Kung Pao?

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                  • #10
                    Re: I Made It in The USA

                    Dammit Franki! I TOLD you not to put that snowthrower away! Now we gotten a few inches of pure slush!

                    Bleh. Love that New England Weather

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                    • #11
                      Re: I Made It in The USA

                      Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
                      Dammit Franki! I TOLD you not to put that snowthrower away! Now we gotten a few inches of pure slush!

                      Bleh. Love that New England Weather
                      I know, you told me so! Saw the snow this morning and felt like shooting myself in the head, another cold gray lousy day. More snow on wednesday into thursday, I hate it here. Best part of my day is saying hi to a buddy of mine in St. Petersbury Beach, FL, he complains about how hot it is and all the bikini clad beauties on the beach.

                      Oh great, I can hear "Dancing with the Stars" playing downstairs as if my day could get any worse. They need to televise "Swamp People" and "Ax Men" 25/7.

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