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OT: OMG! People used to work really hard at things we take for granted.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by markjenks, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    czuch
    Member
    from vail az

    I had one in Michigan that was built by a fellow who wasnt a house builder. He cut oak into 12' square planks and stacked them on top of each other.plastered the inside and shingled the outside. I sold that house for the wood and moved to where it dosent snow. i bought a car from a guy who wasnt a mechanic once,
    but thats a story for another thread.
     
  2. Then quit reading and move on to the next thread already!!!:mad:
     
  3. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    2 1/4" is wide ?????

    Well I haven't read this whole thread but my wife's grandmother's house in Stow Massachusetts had floorboards that were 12" and more wide !!

    As I recall from my history the New Englanders delighted in cutting down "the King's trees."

    The house dated back to the 1700s and was one of the oldest in town. It was still standing in the 1960s but was torn down in the 1970s and there is a subdivision on the farm now...... Ain't progress wonderful...
     
  4. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,671

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    Damn right, that's why just about everything I own is old. What you get out of something is directly proportionate to what was put into it.

    -Dave
     
  5. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,324

    brandon
    Member

    we redid a barn at my house....it was supposed to have been built in the late 1800's.....big post , wood pins,.... it took a beatin' a couple summers ago with with the wind. amazing how a 36x36 3 teir can sit on flat rocks and have 16 post hold it up ..... the farm house had skinny hardwood floors and bead board skinny planks on the ceiling. best we can tell , the house was built in the early 1900's . some stuff is still in good shape....other stuff , well , its in the landfill:rolleyes::eek::D
     
  6. spobanz
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 79

    spobanz
    Member

    I did about a thousand square feet of wood flooring in our house and it about killed me. They just charge so much, granted I know why now, that it makes sense to just roll up your sleeves and get the work done. After all that we take pride in keeping it clean :)
     
  7. MichiganJames
    Joined: Dec 20, 2009
    Posts: 36

    MichiganJames
    Member

    My uncle built and authentic log cabin years ago that took him almost ten years of hard manual labor to do.
    He cut all the timbers also hand shaved and notched each one. He built everything from the ground up by himself and mostly hand tools.
    He built it in the back yard and then disassembled it and built it back in his woods for the second time. Every wall is made of hand cut logs while everything that needed flat board is hand rough cut timbers. The house is 3 stories tall with 25 foot cealings in some of the sections. I commend his efforts, an even more for fighting his bitch wife in the divorce when she tried to take it.
     
  8. markjenks
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 384

    markjenks
    Member

    So, did our work ethics change because of the tools that became available to us made it easier to get the job done? Or did something else come into play?

    I can see that quality and craftsmanship have been going downhill constantly since the turn of the century and even before that.

    Maybe people just lost pride in their work?

    And yes to the questions, this has a lot to do with our hobbies. I'm betting the majority of the people here are Jack of all Trades kind of people and really love what they are doing and do the best they can.
     
  9. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,863

    Truckedup
    Member

    No,work ethics didn't change,but sometimes making a profit leads to shortcuts.
    I will say this from my actual experience in a life time of big construction electrical work.Myself and other electricians did conduit work on a grand scale that was second to none.30 feet in the air,4 inch heavy wall conduit bent by hand using hydraulic equipment,all within a tolerance of less than 1/8 inch.
    Pipe fitters welding that was works of art,the list goes on......
    You may not see this type of work unless you're inside of huge power houses or factories where this work is done.
     
  10. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,599

    Mazooma1
    Member

    Yeah, I have to agree with "Truckedup"...work ethics are a personal virtue, you either get up in the morning with it or you are a loser. There were losers 100 years ago, too. Nothing new there.
    With the quality of tools and equipment employed today, there shouldn't be a trade-off when it comes to quality just because the tools have improved.
    Quite the contrary.
    Geez, I remember trying to drill holes when I was a kid with one of these...
    [​IMG]
    Hundreds of you guys have tried to use this drill, too years ago...holy moly...what a nightmare. Thanks to new cordless technology and portable generators and air compressors...life is good.
    There no excuse for poor quality today. The people who are really the pros all use great tools and if care is taken to select good products to work with, then a job done well will be the final product.
    The care and craftsmanship of yesterday's builders is a marvel to look at and enjoy. Just the thought of building anything, much less a house, with hand tools is just amazing. Tough guys from tough generations past.
     
  11. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Mazooma1; All of the holes we ever drilled on the farm were with one of those, we didn't have electricity until I was a teenager. I wonder, had hand held electric drills even been invented yet? Ha.

    During 1947-48 the roofs of my dad's two big barns needed replaced, the wood shingles were so old and splintered that when we ripped them off most of the nails remained in the sheeting. The routine would normally have been simply to pound them in, but dad wanted to save the nails. The new roof was corrigated steel and used a different nail, so all that we removed were for future/other uses. It took three boys to pull all of those nails out with claw hammers clearing space so that dad and his helper could lay the large sheets of corregated roofing behind us. They were constantly stopping and waiting for us to clear more space! We ended up with a 5 gallon bucket nearly full of shingle nails. It was quite a lesson in thrift, we never needed to buy any shingle nails, with what seemed to a lifetime supply! When I left the farm nearly ten years later to join the Air Force we still had a good supply of those rusty shingle nails. I doubt if they were ever used up..........
     
  12. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,599

    Mazooma1
    Member

    29Nash...yeah, thats my point. I still have my hand drill hanging on a hook. Damn, they were clumsy, but, like you said, they were all we had...
     
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,516

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In 1968 when I was in Viet Nam the guys in my unit would build their own huts with ammo boxes filled with dirt and what ever else we could scavenge up. A lot of us had a can full of nails we had straightened and I actually got my grandmother to send me a two bound box of nails around that time. We had to put the 2.75 rockets together for the guys at the ammo dump to get the boxes from them.

    Those floors look like a lot of work folks but they sure will look good when they are done.

    Not sure if the floor in this place is hand laid wood or the fake stuff but either way I sure would hate to have been the one to lay it.
    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Mount-Vernon/24351-Nookachamp-Hills-Dr-98274/home/18790974
    Ugly but great car freaks house though.
     
  14. We are all just standing on the shoulders of giants. - isaac newton
    (i had to google the origin of that sentence... Perfect example)
     
  15. That Brazilian Ebony must come pre-waxed . . . :eek:
     
  16. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    On very cold nights, the easy way was to drain the oil and take the battery in the house. Pretty well assures that the car will start, even at 20 below. Even these days many cars won't. This winter I've watched people jumping dead batteries, etc. I hook up the trickle charger if it's going to be below zero, but in the 1940s we didn't have electric to plug them in. Many times the old way is the better way, people just don't have the foresight to understand it.

    Like my grandpa said, "It ain't how much money you make in a week, it's how much you waste in a year on shit you don't really need."

    We always drained the water from the radiators in the winter, never bought anitfrfeeze. We start the motor up if we was going to use a certain car or tractor that day, put a blanket over the hood and slowly add water. If you started it periodically durning the day and kept it warm it wouldn't freeze. At Saturday night dance, every hour, you needed to go out and warm up the car. With that subtle invite, "wanna go out with me whilst I warm up the car", ...... , sometimes didn't get back inside until the last dance!
     
  17. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,008

    Slick Willy
    Member

    29nash, I dont know how old you are but you are closing in on good points. Its more of an economical history lesson that goes along with quality of work... Many houses that were built in the first half of the 1900s were questionably built for several reasons...two world wars, the great depression, and the quest to move west, which meant alot of homes were built with what was on the wagon. If you had to build a 12' wall and you only had 4 studs, thats all that wall was going to get.
    Living in New England, the houses that still stand today were usually built by wealthy business men or by businesses. The money was well spent for a future use because they knew they were at that one location for the long haul. This of course is not to say that they are maintenance free!! My house is a full time job but it had a good start!
     
  18. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    The house we lived in was built by my grandpa from plans, bought from Sears Roebuck, or Montgomery wards I believe. That house has had a new set of shingles on it average every ten or 15 years. It was moved about ten years ago, and is all renovated. The lumber in it was what was called #1 clear; no knots, all straight grain, qarter sawn, just short of being Aircraft Structural Quality SitkaSpruce. Now-a-days shingles do good to last 6 years, they are thinner now, less durable. By the end of '45, end of WWII, at 8 years old I was walking a mile one way to school, driving a team of horses in the field, riding bareback on old Dixie(as much fun as any hot rod could be) to fetch the milk cows, milking three or four of them whilst dad did two to my one. In our spare time we went to the field and pulled weeds, thistle, sunflower, milkweed, etc. My dad is probably the cause of a whole colony of kangaroo rat becoming extinct, because we poisened them with strichnine laced oats, and they are all gone now. In '46 he bought a brand new John Deere from a returning vet that had bought it on the GI bill. Us kids took turns with the chores, milking, slopping hogs, etc. The women, mom and sis, took care of the chickens and the house. Getting to bed by 8pm, up at 4am.

    I 'excaped' in '55 to join the Air Forece. I can remember my dad saying, "you'll be back". Ha. I only went back to visit. Haven't milked a cow or slopped a hog since July '55 as I departed on foot to hitch a ride to the recuiter's office, 160 miles away~!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  19. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    We never whined about the lot we drew in life. It's been good.

    Somewhere on the hamb, my accounts of the Model As and Chivvies we had then.
     
  20. markjenks
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 384

    markjenks
    Member

    I've been thinking about this over the last few days.

    Was it the prices of materials and labor that pushed the quality of work to the back burner for the average person? Did the quality just become out of reach?

    Workmanship was almost mandatory when there wasn't a fast way to do things too. Either you did it right or did it sloppy, but the right way prevailed most of the times.

    You think about it, this has so much to do with everything, even the classic/antique cars.

    -Mark
     
  21. as a toddler my family lived in one of two houses that my great grandfather had built.

    When my dad ripped down some walls to remodel he discovered that his grandfather had built our old house out of a railroad boxcar.
     
  22. mixedupamx
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 513

    mixedupamx
    Member

    I do this for a living . thats why I use air power:D
     
  23. mixedupamx
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 513

    mixedupamx
    Member

    some of the lack of work ethic is forced upon the workers by the "get it done yesterday" attitude of the public and as a trickle down effect, the employer. its always a "SLAM IT IN AND MOVE ON!" order as soon as you hit the jobsite anymore. many contractors (but not all of them)only want to do the bare minimum to get paid and get out of there, and the customer want there project done asap!!!!
     
  24. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    My Father and Grandfather built our house in the early 50's and had no power tools whatsoever. Every board was cut with a handsaw and every nail put in with a hammer. I would watch my Grandpap fell and cut up a tree in a day with a two man saw, an axe, and wedges to split the wood. He died at 81 still working in our yard. People back then were tough and resourseful, never wasting anything.

    Every winter they would shovel tons of coal into the coal room and every day have to keep the furnace fed. We have no idea how lucky we are to have the modern conveniences we do.

    Don
     

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