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The retired life #2: Salvaging

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Blog entry by Russ posted 1413 days ago 962 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Adjusting Part 2 of The retired life series no next part

One of my philosophies of retirement is to trade the lost income by investing my free time into saving resources and money. Here in Alaska we have transfer stations at the dump sights where goods that may be of some use for another are left. It is amazing what is left! Sunday is our weekly trip to the two stations in our area and although the number of people searching through these items has easily tripled we still came home with usable stuff. Most of our clothes and all my shop rags come from the station. Last week was better but less people, we salvaged about 90 sf of knotty pine siding. This was more than enough to put on the roof of the sunroom. The point is that the best pieces that went on the roof of the sunroom would have cost over $100 dollars! The siding on the shop wood storage is from a building where I grew up in Alaska, Nenana is the name of the village. Most of the wood was not salvageable but all this was. I will finish a end table today that was from the station. I feel really good reusing and saving resources, I encourage everyone to find what can be saved, even if it is given to a local charity.

-- Happiness is being covered in sawdust



14 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15421 posts in 1467 days


#1 posted 1413 days ago

Looks good and it sounds like a great program and I can see why you would want to use as much as you can; most of us like to get free wood and lumber whenever it’s available. I’ve seen some of the pictures of your shop and it looks great to me. I’ve always wanted to see Alaska. As a matter of fact many, many long years ago when I was a much younger man I tried to talk my wife into going up there and homesteading some land. It was probably in the mid 60’s. I’ve always wondered in the back of my mind how that would have turned out.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 1541 days


#2 posted 1413 days ago

Sounds like the way I will have to retire, except we don’t have those stations here!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1439 days


#3 posted 1413 days ago

Aw man- I want to find an abandoned shed like that.. but here… I would be arrested. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1598 days


#4 posted 1413 days ago

When I lived out WEST I used to go to our refuse stations. We can’t do that here . MY wife hated it when I would take a few items toi the dump and come home with more than I went with. “But this is good stuff I would say”.......Glad to hear someone else is doing what I once was able to do.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Russ's profile

Russ

142 posts in 1800 days


#5 posted 1413 days ago

Thanks for the comments! helluvawreck, the wood on the shop came from a big root cellar from a man who homesteaded in the 60’s. He, Odell, had a lot of potatoes that went into the 40×60 cellar.

-- Happiness is being covered in sawdust

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1063 posts in 1575 days


#6 posted 1413 days ago

Good for you.
I am becoming a regular browser of the local plywood store’s off cuts and cheap scraps $7 worth today!
The Vancouver area has a few recycling shops specifically for building materials and such… your free stuff is better though. Not sure you are allowed any where near the inside of the transfer stations here.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15421 posts in 1467 days


#7 posted 1413 days ago

Russ, I like potatoes all right. Maybe it would have been OK. How much land did Odell homestead? Back then I believe that you could have homesteaded 640 acres – does that sound right?

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1598 days


#8 posted 1413 days ago

Second Coment. I keep looking at your picture of old shed, trees in background. I can feel the peace and serenity just looking at that picture. I miss that.
ADOPT ME.
I am potty trained !
Okay, I eat a lot, generally I am well behaved.
PEACEFUL place you must have for your retirement .

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View William's profile

William

8908 posts in 1443 days


#9 posted 1413 days ago

It used to amaze me what people throw away. not anymore. When I was first getting on my feet after 2 1/2 years in a wheelchair, I couldn’t sleep all night because of muscle spasms. So I used to get up and ride the streets in the wee hours of the morning. I learned the garbage routes and rode those before the garbage men came through. I’d pick up things most people wouldn’t believe. About half the furniture in my home came from other people’s garbage. A desk, for example, and we’re talking antique solid wood desk, with one drawer broken, people will put at the curb to be hauled off. I’d haul it home and repair it. It got to where at a point, we were saving more than we could use. So we started having a monthly yard sale. I was at one time making several hundred dollars a month from yard sales from stuff that people threw away.
The reason I stopped that was that others started picking up on what I was doing. Now there’s so many people in town doing the exact same thing that I started to spend more in fuel costs than what I could make from it. I still keep my eyes pealed though anytime I go somewhere, especially if I’m in a neighborhood that I know it’s garbage day.

When I was a kid, we used to haul a half truckload of garbage to the dump and come back with a full truckload of useable stuff. Then they outlawed anyone going through things at the dump. They’ll call the law on you if they catch you loading anything you didn’t bring with you now.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Russ's profile

Russ

142 posts in 1800 days


#10 posted 1413 days ago

The usual size was 160 acres for a homestead helluvawreck. You are right about the peace I have here, it is only 10 minutes from town but I am on the top of a hill so people think I am so far out of town:). It is also about 20 degrees warmer up here which is nice when Fairbanks is -40f, tonite they say 30 degrees in town and 50 in the hills. That is one thing that I am still adapting to; my job was always petty and trivial but it did give me contact with people, not peaceful by any means. For me working the wood is best done when my mind is not cluttered and quiet. I get to the shop about the time the sun is streaming in the front windows, no lights and npr on the radio make for a good environment.I find myself going to the store just to get a few things, haha. William they did try to get it stopped here too but public outcry was far too great so the policy did not pass. As a example of what I have found here is a end table I just finished, it was literally taken out of a dumpster! Cleaned it up, sanded it down and stained finishing with 4 coats of 2/1 gloss poly and 2 coats of wax. The two stools were also just finished, my family loves to sit around the wood stove but with only one stool there were always arguments :). The tops are Alaska birch and walnut with the legs being hickory I found on craigslist. Take care all.

-- Happiness is being covered in sawdust

View Russ's profile

Russ

142 posts in 1800 days


#11 posted 1413 days ago

Oops, here are the stools

-- Happiness is being covered in sawdust

View GaryD's profile

GaryD

620 posts in 1970 days


#12 posted 1413 days ago

Man i wish they had that here. Around here if it goes to the dump it is against the law to take it home. Oh well….....

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1481 days


#13 posted 1413 days ago

That ‘law’ is pretty dumb, but I suppose it has to do with liabilities AKA insurance companies? Just watch someone prowling about the dump and they fall and cut themselves on a shard of something…???

Better would be a location AT the dump site where stuff that could be reused gets placed before all the drama? But that would probably take a concerted community effort.

I’ve often thought Alaska would be a fine place to reside.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Russ's profile

Russ

142 posts in 1800 days


#14 posted 1405 days ago

Another productive Sunday at the transfer station, the weather has been fantastic and

as the photo shows it is very busy these days. I found enough laminate flooring to do around the workbench, cedar shakes for the addition I am putting on the house siding for the shop, and about 200 ft of mouldiings!. We also salvaged about 1/4 cord of 2×4’s and such for fire starter. It feels good to utilize these finds before they are buried at the dump. However, it is a bit humorous to come home from the transfer station with a truck full of usable items.

-- Happiness is being covered in sawdust

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