Hi Reddit! My journey with “stuff” started with a broken toaster. Then a broken vacuum. I didn’t want to buy new stuff, I just wanted my stuff to work. So I started Fixup, a pop up repair shop in New York. As I fixed thousands of broken items, I learned about the emotional connections that we all have to our stuff – and the ways that businesses are designing things to be thrown out and replaced. I wrote [Fixation](https://bookshop.org/a/1428/9781642830453) with what I learned to help us imagine a different way to have stuff - one that works for individuals, businesses, and the planet. I am also a theater set designer and the Director of Campus Sustainability at Barnard College.

AMA about the broken stuff in your lives, how to have a healthier relationship with your stuff, how we can build a more sustainable, equitable, and circular economy, or how stuff and theatre go together.

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/maNlvOI

Comments: 200 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

lyssargh190 karma

Where do you draw the line between something that you try to save, and something that isn't salvageable now?

sgoldmark240 karma

I guess it's a question of how much time and/or money you are willing to invest in it. It's true that some things are just not fixable...Ideally, those items would be able to be broken down into component parts and materials, and used in making new items. Repair is just one step in the whole cycle, after all... I personally do sometimes decide that something isn't fixable. I can't fix it all :)

Eisenstein86 karma

Are you in touch with Louis Rossman?

How do you feel about his efforts in enacting 'right to repair' laws? If you agree with 'right to repair', what are you doing to help further this effort?

sgoldmark93 karma

I'm a big fan of Right to Repair. I don't actually know Louis Rossman, but I know some other people working on the issue. I am a member of Repair.org, and try to explain the issue to people not involved in the movement. Many people don't really know or understand why they might need to be concerned about Right to Repair, so in our shops we tried to spread the word...

Thebigbaul73 karma

Do you think that anyone can fix anything (with the right guidance) or are there things best left 'to the professionals'? (reposted from original AMA thread)

sgoldmark109 karma

Thanks for reposting! It takes a village to fix a broken AMA I guess :)

I do think anyone can learn to fix, just like anyone can learn to draw or play the piano. While we might not all be Michelangelo or Beethoven (who is the Michelangelo of repair I wonder? Def. not me ;), we can all learn to fix.

Though, yes, it's good to be careful about fixing things that are actually dangerous!

sgoldmark63 karma

Hi Everyone! Sandra here...Going to start responding to some of the excellent questions below...

Leaderofmen44 karma

What do you think about Apple and their continued attack on the right to repair movement?

sgoldmark79 karma

I think all companies need to support repair, both as a service they provide, AND as something that can be done by independent repair shops or individuals. And I think they need to design their products accordingly. This goes for Apple, but actually extends to all kinds of objects. A couch that is poorly made is very difficult to fix. A lamp that has a plastic hinge part is likely to break right at the stress point. Apple could lead the way in big companies in adapting their designs to make them fixable - like Fairphone. But it goes across the board for all kinds of "stuff."

Leaderofmen34 karma

Apple are trying to systematically make their devices unrepairable by third parties. Do you think the government should introduce new laws to prevent them and other companies from doing that?

sgoldmark55 karma

Yes, I do!

yhnijb071343 karma

Is there anything you came across that is beyond repair?

What is your biggest takeaway from fixing stuff over the years?

sgoldmark103 karma

We came across TONS of stuff that was beyond repair :)

I guess all my biggest takeaways are in the book!

But overall, I realized that stuff is just like food: something we harvest from the earth, transform with our labor, and bring into our homes (or bodies, in the case of food). It affects our health and our happiness, and the health of those who make it. And like food, stuff is a blessing and a source of joy (or can be). And therefore, we can and should do it better.

Repair is just one part of a much bigger cycle.

sgoldmark155 karma

PS - One of the items most likely to be un-fixable was printers. Total disaster.

Except for the time we opened one up and found an Uno card and a handful of bobby pins. Once we took those out it worked fine :)

TransformerTanooki4 karma

How many PB&J sandwiches have you removed from VCRs?

sgoldmark1 karma

Ha! We have found some interesting things in CD trays.

sgoldmark34 karma

Hi all! Signing off now. This was very fun, and apologies for the confusion about the link!

I hope you'll check out the book, Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet. A lot of the topics we touched on here are in the book (except maybe the Sesame Street characters :)

Thank you for all your awesome questions and thoughts!

Sandra

captainsave32 karma

Have you thought about creating a database and ranking system for products? Similar to yelp to assess the sturdiness and resilience of various products. r/BuyItForLife would eat that up.

sgoldmark28 karma

We talked about this a lot in the shops... iFixit of course offers a fantastic repairability ranking for a ton of products. It would be awesome to extend this to all kinds of things, from toasters to chairs to lamps... Could assess sturdiness, quality of materials, toxicity, labor standards.

PunchClockRanger32 karma

Any especially moving stories about stuff you've fixed for other people?

sgoldmark122 karma

So many...One of my favorites was the Christmas Reindeer. He danced and sang (or was supposed to). His owner really loved him, and we had a really tough time fixing him. But we managed some stuffed reindeer open-heart surgery and got him going, at least for a while. We spent a LONG time working on him, way more than we could charge for. It felt like a really nice Christmas gift to get him back to his owner. A little Christmas miracle :)

grandiosediminutive25 karma

OMG. This is a thing? I didn’t know this was a thing!! I fix everything, and find real joy in it. Not to mention less waste & cost savings.

Top 2 comments:

Why don’t you just buy a new one?

How do you know how to do all this stuff (as a woman?)

I’m so glad their are others!

sgoldmark17 karma

Yay fixers! What's your favorite thing to fix?

Mine is actually paint matching - so all the way at the end, doing the touch up or paint/stain match. I find it very soothing :)

I also love working with wood.

grandiosediminutive16 karma

My favorite thing to fix is my house. 😂. I have so many projects, tools, repair ideas. Repairing some broken blocks on my house currently.

I have just got to the point where my instinct is always to fix first and replace last. When it doubt their is usually a YouTube video to help.

Paint, stain, sanding & refinishing is my favorite. I also LOVE patching putty, epoxy, etc. the best part is making it look like it was never broken.

I didn’t know this was a movement, and now I need to get involved. I’m glad I stumbled on this AMA! Thanks.

sgoldmark21 karma

Ooh, I LOVE putty. I too love making the repair invisible. Some people are big into "visible mending," which can be really beautiful, but I personally love making an invisible mend. Maybe it's my theatre roots - love of illusion??

ohwhatta_gooseiam24 karma

I dig your project!

I see two core philosophical problems in our society that feed into what your project is addressing: consumerism and a belief of human separation from nature. Do you agree, and if so, i'd love to hear your thoughts on them, and how to go about changing those.

Also, bonus question: are you familiar with the "Story Of Stuff" project?

sgoldmark31 karma

OK such good stuff here.

  1. Human separation from nature. I think this is definitely happening, and in some ways, I think it's related to the fact that many of us work less and less with our hands (and of course spend tons of time indoors :) But I think working with our hands is one way to not only fix objects, but to recreate a connection with the physical world and the body...
  2. Consumerism is a big word, sort of hard to pin down for me. One thing that I think is happening is that we have developed this incredibly technological prowess. We can make and have almost anything, so easily. And our poor little human brains and bodies can't withstand the temptation! It's like food - we are awash in cheap "stuff calories," and we're not designed to cope with it. PLUS our economic system is dedicated to getting us to buy more and more all the time. So I try to acknowledge that, and remind us all that we're not evil crazed consumers - we're humans who naturally like and want stuff, living in kind of a crazy system. And, as with food, we have to develop a) some individual strategies to cope with the excess all around us and b) some incentives, policies, and structures to make the system better.

And I am a HUGE fan of the Story of Stuff. Annie Leonard is one of the reasons I wrote the book and her work is a major landmark in this field :)

ohwhatta_gooseiam4 karma

:)

  1. Human separation from nature: That's an interesting take on it, i hadn't considered it as a remedy to the problem before.

What it brings to mind for me though, is that in the act of repairing some(manufactured)"thing", it's still imposing our will upon it. However, there's also something to be said about how whatever surrounds you shapes you, and if the option of throwing it away is resisted, the realization of how that thing impacts your life has more of a chance of getting through, and that connection you refer to can happen.

I think there's also a big contribution to this view from organized religion, the one i'm most familiar with are those who hold various interpretations of the Bible. Holding that humans have "dominion" over nature, the kingdom of god is not of this world, building churches devoid of natural features, condemning pagans, etc. Even when dead they try to resist returning to the earth through decomposition, then marking the spot with a carved rock.

edit: the link i'm making is how these philosophies lead to our approach to manufacturing, where recycling materials wasn't prioritized from the start, instead just continuously extracting from the environment. Now, recycling is somewhat common, but not in most of the world, or even in the united states. I visited portland maine a few years ago, no public recycling bins! i carried my empty takeout cup all around town lookin for one! My point is, i think we need to consider how we got here in order to make a large scale change, it's quite the rabbit hole!

  1. Consumerism is absolutely a big'n! ""cheap stuff calories", I really like that.

Absolutely, especially since the first world war, our economy has been based on creating need out of what aughtta be a "want" in order to keep up with constant manufacturing and growth. I try to spread awareness about people like Freud and his nephew Bernays as much as i can, and their significant impact on our culture's psyche in this regard.

I agree, we see examples in nature of animals liking and collecting things, like crows, raccoons, squirrels, etc. It's natural, but it can get out of balance, right? That's what's making it unnatural.

Side note: i think this is at the core of american democracy right now, the consumer/citizen mindset balance being outta whack

Along with your individual/collective policy point, i think campaigns like "Keep America Beautiful" are great examples of how our culture has approached this in the past; shifting responsibility on the individual rather than the collective (which includes the company at fault of course). It's really hard to counter these forces, to make those incentives and policies, especially when collective is conflated with communism.

On your food analogy, it's an interesting parallel with stuff, because we also haven't reined in the cheap calorie problem legislatively, corn sugar and veggie oil are in so many foods, and there's big money pushing against movements to get away from that...not to mention all the plastic!

Going back to your project, from an outside perspective, as someone who hasn't interacted with your pop-up, it seems like it counters the trend of planned obsolescence, in a way that challenges people to learn new skills, connect with people, and imagine an alternative way of doing things while experiencing first hand how cheaply stuff is made, leading to valuing good craftsmanship. And! promoting inter-dependance!

...and i figured you would be! I dig her approach of bringing people together by figuring out roles, making resistance both individual and collective.

This turned into a ramble, thanks for bearin with me, and i'd love to hear your thoughts on at least some of it!

sgoldmark1 karma

Thanks for these really thoughtful comments, I really appreciate them! And I'm not trying to plug the book, but I think you might like it...

The book (Fixation) has a chapter called "God and Stuff" where I try to unpack (a little) some of these question of religion. It was really fun to research... And what you said about end of life really resonates for me, too. For our bodies, just like for our stuff, we have created a very strange linear cycle. Something I just touch on in the last section, called "pass it on..."

And yes, it's not that we've got food figured out either! But at least we seem to understand the problem, and intuitively now, people realize that food impacts their health, their happiness, and the planet. I use the food analogy because I feel like it creates a shorthand.

And yes, the individual vs collective thing is a bit topic too. So much good stuff to chew over in your post!!

justthenormalnoise18 karma

Aside from a basic wrench and screwdriver set, what are the best tools/equipment to have for home repair?

Note: I've discovered I love fixing appliances. This year I have repaired two items on our oven, a washer, a fridge, and some toys.

sgoldmark21 karma

Hi! It definitely depends what you are working on. In our shops, we fixed furniture (carpentry), lamps, appliances, jewelry, ceramics, toys, etc. Each of us has a toolkit and specialized materials. So you might want to start with a category...That said, there are some tools we all used and loved: Needle nose pliers. Hammers. Epoxy and various glues! But there are so many tools....What are you interested in working with? Wood? Jewelry? Electronics?

justthenormalnoise7 karma

Electrical appliances, primarily (although I have discovered the beauty of wood glue and clamps!). When I was fixing our fridge, several of the articles mentioned I might need a somethingOrOther-meter, and I was rather terrified of going down that rabbit hole.

sgoldmark13 karma

Wood glue! A glorious product.

One of my favorite low-tech tools - RUBBER BANDS!

To hold things together while they are drying :)

sgoldmark10 karma

Yes! Was it a multi-meter? Depends on what you are trying to test...

Multi-meter is for voltage and amps. You can also use a continuity tester.

(These tips are from Michael, I can ask for more details if needed!)

sgoldmark4 karma

Also, I love doing paint and stain touchups, another whole set of supplies :)

sgoldmark12 karma

Oh - I see you say appliances! First and foremost you'll need tools for opening things, then. Do you have a spudger? Those little tools for getting into a crack and prying something open? Very nice.

ramblingrrl8 karma

Hi Sandra, thanks for hosting on AMA on such an interesting topic. I was wondering if you personally believe that capitalism can exist without creating a throw-away culture? I previously phrased this as: do you believe capitalism and sustainability can go hand in hand?

sgoldmark12 karma

Ah, such a good and difficult question. Is it ok to say I don't know? In Fixation (the book), I am certainly pushing for corporations to adopt repair and reuse into their core business models, which is sort of a "fix the system" approach (as opposed to arguing that the system is fundamentally incompatible with sustainability). But it is certainly a valid question. On more pessimistic days I think we are heading for a serious breakdown, and reform or tinkering won't work. But for now, I think we still have to work with what we have and try to fix it - no pun intended!

ramblingrrl8 karma

Thanks for your thoughtful answer! I’ll have to pick up your book as this topic fascinates me. Personally I want to believe we can regulate and tinker with our system enough that it could become sustainable. Tapping into the individual connection people have with the important objects in their lives seems like a good place to start. Where I start to feel despair is thinking about how deliberate of a choice it has to be to slow down and take stock of what’s important, even just for an individual— it seems, for all intents and purposes, nearly impossible for a corporation to do the same!

sgoldmark9 karma

Indeed. I do see some signs of hope, though. Some big corporations are starting to really dig into reuse and repair...

What you say about slowing down resonates for me. Not easy for any of us.

hat-of-sky8 karma

So are Maria and Luis your role models?

https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/Fix-It_Shop

sgoldmark7 karma

Yes! I did start these repair shops with my husband Michael, along with a few other "people in our neighborhoo-oo-d..." :)

ghostfacr8 karma

What is your take on the idea of designed obsolescence? Particularly in thinking of household appliances - is it a deliberate strategy or just the result of cost cutting measures like using cheaper parts like plastic etc?

sgoldmark10 karma

I think it's both. There is a great book called "Made to Break" that I reference in Fixation. It goes into it in great detail. But I think it is a function of the pressure to constantly lower prices, and also a deliberate strategy. There is also an interesting documentary called The Lightbulb Conspiracy...

Adventuredditor7 karma

What is the most difficult thing you have fixed?

sgoldmark22 karma

I had to rebuild a statue. She was about 3 feet tall, white clay of some sort, pretty shattered. Worse, several large chunks were missing. I had to rebuild them entirely. I used a fantastic technique I had read about, building up layers of white glue and paper towel, of all things! Then I sanded it down. It was very satisfying :)

sonofabutch6 karma

I have a collection of broken iPhone charger cables. (People grab them in the middle of the cord and yank instead of gently pulling out the connector from the phone.) The cable isn’t snapped in half, but likely the wiring inside has come loose. Can they be salvaged, or just toss them?

sgoldmark12 karma

Short answer: Sometimes. We have used sugru and also heat shrink to protect/fix those joints before they get too bad. And we have had SOME luck fixing headphones and that sort of thing. But we have also had some epic fails / very lengthy time-suck rabbit holes trying to fix that sort of thing. So if you want to give it a shot, just be prepared :)

It does help to protect that joint before it gets too bad...I wonder if I can post images on this?...I could show my phone charger :)

sonofabutch4 karma

I’m sure people would like that!

sgoldmark5 karma

Seems like images are not allowed :(

I'll post it on my facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/fixuprepairnyc

Kuke696 karma

Are there any brands you suggest that are more "fixer friendly" than others?

sgoldmark12 karma

Yes there are some. For vacuums, Miele is good. Kitchen Aid is good, especially for blenders and mixers (less so for other items). Adam mentioned Dualit, Motorola, and older Panasonic.

In terms of things other than appliances, Patagonia and Eileen Fisher are of course real leaders in repair...

And for furniture, the key is to look for good construction and materials.

sgoldmark4 karma

and also wherever possible Fair Trade certification

hurtsdonut_3 karma

What appliances does Patagonia make?

sgoldmark9 karma

Ha! None, but they make clothing and gear that is designed for repair, and they offer repair services. A lot of people associate repair with appliances, but it can apply to anything!

Sorry if you were referring mainly to appliances, I missed it :)

not_levar_burton5 karma

Is this a free service? If so, how are you funded? This is a great idea. I've often thought that this would be a great add on to a library or some other ubiquitous government office.

sgoldmark7 karma

Yes, libraries are great partners! (The original circular economy :)

We initially did a small crowdfund, and then we kept ourselves going by charging for our repairs. It was tight financially, but possible, especially with the help of amazing partners, like libraries, farmers markets, local businesses, city agencies, etc.

What we did is totally replicable, as you say with the right local partners.

not_levar_burton3 karma

Awesome, thanks. How many people do you work with (doing the repairs)? How much do you normally charge? How long does it normally take to fix something?

sgoldmark5 karma

Some of this information is on our website www.fixup.nyc

We usually had around 4-6 fixers. Our real core team was 3-4. The stuff we got fell into the following categories:

Lamps

Small furniture (carpentry, we didn't do full upholstery)

Appliances and electronics (we didn't do screens/phones)

ceramics

Jewelry

Some stitching (we didn't do full alterations or complex sewing)

Miscellaneous toys, decorative items, etc.

So you need people with skill sets for whatever you are going to accept/fix. I THINK our price list is still up on the website. It ranged quite a bit, depending on the complexity of the job. And the time informed the price, of course. It took us a while to figure out our average speeds and come up with a price list that correlated. PLUS of course there is overhead.

What else would be useful to know?

Sinner_NL_3 karma

Hi Sandra, how do you fix a broken AMA?

sgoldmark6 karma

Hilarious!! And so true :)

fladap1 karma

What are your must have tools of choice?

sgoldmark1 karma

Depends on what I'm fixing. I LOVE painting and touch ups, so good brushes, and some gloss medium. I do a lot of the jewelry repair, so needle nose pliers!!

Michael does the carpentry and has a whole tool kit of favorites. He's very particular about his clamps, especially...

sgoldmark1 karma

Thank you all for your thoughtful questions and comments ! This was very fun.

I hope those of you who were interested will considering checking out the book. Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet goes into more detail on a lot of these themes.

You can ask your local bookseller to order it, or your local library!

Thanks so much all for a great conversation!

STG

Iluvkiki1 karma

Do you think the advertising industry is a major force behind people's addictions to shopping and buying shiny new things?

sgoldmark2 karma

I think advertising is part of it, but not the only force. I think advertising stokes our existing desires, creates some new desires, and conditions us to certain behaviors. But I think there are other factors, too - ranging all the way from our traits as a species (toolmakers) to our spiritual and legal codes, to lifestyles questions, like being increasingly busy!

cistacea1 karma

Some fashion historians/recreationists such as Bernadette banner who advocate essentially the same thing for clothing-repairing and changing existing clothing instead of buying new clothing. Have you had the opportunity to meet someone who advocates for fixing and modifying something ELSE?

sgoldmark2 karma

Other than clothing? Yes! Reuse and repair can be the standard for any manufactured object of any kind!

(Or did I misunderstand your question?)

Alewerkz1 karma

Do you think that with the way things are going, especially regarding rights to repair. Third party repair shops will slowly be cut off from any business?

sgoldmark1 karma

I do worry about that. I worry that as big companies get into the circular economy game and develop revenue models for reuse and repair, they'll shut others out. It's a concern for sure. At the same time, we need big retailers and manufacturers to get into repair so that they have an incentive to design things that are more easily fixed. It's not an easy one...

redorangeblue1 karma

Do you somewhere have a list of companies who design items to be repaired? I'd like to be more conscientious in the future?

sgoldmark2 karma

I don't have a list like that, really. But the book (Fixation) does talk a lot about which products were easy to fix, and which weren't.

Polyboy03g1 karma

Have you ever failed a project, or had a setback, that caused you to put the tools down for a bit? How did you get back the passion to try again?

sgoldmark1 karma

Oh my goodness, SO SO SO many!

So many frustrating repair fails, so many "wormholes" (that's what we called a project that should take 20 mins and winds up taking several hours and still turning out crappy).

Repair is not easy.

I guess we would just keep going because it's also really satisfying when you do a good job, our customers depended on us, and we loved working together. Also it felt like a bit of research - so even a failure added to our knowledge.

SwimsDeep1 karma

Do you have a YouTube channel or other access?

canhardlythingofone1 karma

Where do you see yourself and your business 5 years down the line?

sgoldmark1 karma

Oh, such a big question. I wrote Fixation because I wanted to share our little story with others, and to connect the dots between repair and the rest of our patterns of consumption. I honestly don't know what is next...I know that I want to see big changes in our design, manufacture, production, consumption, repair, and disposal of stuff - and that I want to be part of that change. Not sure exactly how right now. But thank you for nudging me to try to figure it out :)

Mindfreek4541 karma

Hey, I doubt you'll see this since I'm so late, but I'm just getting into salvaging old or broken electronics. I fixed multiple controllers, a couple video game consoles, and now a laptop that I had previously given up hope on! I just ordered a busted psvita for $50 that my hope is to fix and sell for at least a $50 profit. The problem with that is, I know I'll need to do some soldering, but I'm not very experienced. How would you suggest I go about learning to solder, do I just go for it and risk damage to the device?

sgoldmark1 karma

I would practice on something else. Something you know is unsalvageable, or even just two little pieces of brass.

slumberfist1 karma

I would like to counter the planned obsolescence of products like electronic necessities including laptops and smartphones but they seem built to break even further as soon as you attempt repair. Is there a way arou d this?

sgoldmark3 karma

Not really. They are often designed to break. That's why it's important to push companies and policy makers to change the way products are designed, and the incentives surrounding consumption and waste. It's a big system, repair is just one point on the cycle. BUT a lot of things still can be fixed!

noo0ooooo0o1 karma

In my family it's always been pretty commonplace to fix things, not throw them away. And basically anything you can do yourself, you do yourself. It's normal to me but many people seem to react like it's a "poor person habit". I get that fixing things is a hassle and if you do it yourself then it takes some extra time. But why the negative stigma? Or do you think it has that at all?

sgoldmark2 karma

Yes, I think repair has become odd at best. That's sort of why I wrote the book (Fixation): to rethink this part of our lives, and see how it might inform a lot of facets of our consumption patterns...

detonatingorange1 karma

Would you recommend any general books on 'fixing'?. Like I can google most things, but it would be nice to have a few books on fixing simple things around the home/I find in op shops.

sgoldmark1 karma

Hmm...I do have a big generalized repair book, but it's at the office and I'm home! It might be called "How to Repair Everything" or something...

Chaosritter1 karma

How do you determine what's worth fixing and what isn't? Do the things you fix need to have a practical use?

I've seen people spend hours painstakingly cleaning, troubleshooting and restoring old video game consoles and home computers (C64, Amiga ST ect.) that were rotting away in barns or outside for decades just for fun.

sgoldmark1 karma

We charged for repairs in our shop, so the customer decided if it was "worth it," depending on the price we quoted. It was interesting to see what they chose to fix, and what seemed like too much!

teriyakigirl1 karma

This is incredible!!! How can I come work for you?!

sgoldmark2 karma

Thanks! Email us at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])

We don't have shops open right now but it's always nice to hear from people, and who knows what will happen!

And check out the book: Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet

If you like this thread I think you might like the book :)

j-mobile1 karma

what skills and tools do you employ for repairs?

whats your most common repair?

sgoldmark2 karma

Our most common item was lamps, lamps, lamps! Then appliances and electronics, chairs and other furniture, jewelry, ceramics, and then toys/miscellaneous.

We have a whole set of tools to handle such a wide variety of items. But the tools are pretty standard...

The_Somnambulist1 karma

How do you feel about the BBC TV show 'The Repair Shop'?

sgoldmark2 karma

It was fun - maybe a little too cute? Would be fun to see an American version!

invisiblenorms1 karma

How do you source your fixers? Are you interested in replicating this service in other cities, or supporting people who want to take that project on?

sgoldmark2 karma

We found our fixers through our network here in New York. We work in theatre, so know a lot of people who work backstage in props and scenery and costumes, TV or film, or other artists/makers. But there are indeed people with amazing skills all over the country, not just theatre people :) We would love to see this project scale or replicate, and are happy to support people in doing so, or doing their version! Email us at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])

frenchburner1 karma

Repost from the original AMA:

Cool idea!! My question: did you make the cabinet piece behind you? It’s fabulous and I’d love to hear more about it!

sgoldmark2 karma

Thanks! Yes, Michael and I made that piece. It's actually just hanging on the wall, it's not a cabinet. We made it from a bunch of shutters we bought at BIG Reuse in New York.

We wanted a big piece of wall art - this looked nice, was reused, and in our price range :)

It's just shutters arranged on a foundation of plywood (an old piece we found in the scene shop). Super simple.

I thought about painting it gloss red at one point, but was talked out of it. Probably a good thing!

schwendigo0 karma

3D printed a piece for my 5 year old electric toothbrush today, .. do you leverage any technologies?

sgoldmark2 karma

Love that! We didn't do any 3D printing in our shops (too time consuming for the way we worked), but we always talked about it and it is certainly potentially very useful, especially for plastic parts that break or degrade.

Pieraos0 karma

Are you related to inventor Peter Goldmark?

sgoldmark2 karma

Yes! He's was my grandfather! The tinker gene comes from both sides - my other grandfather was an engineer and incorrigible fixer and tinkerer :)

tousledmonkey-1 karma

What's your opinion on manufacturers using glue instead of screws and what would you like them to know so that they change their way of engineering?

sgoldmark2 karma

NO MORE GLUE! It's impossible to open things without breaking them. Screws please! And regular philips head :)

TheBrofessor23-1 karma

Can you fix Bose Bluetooth speakers? Mine needs a new battery and I have no clue where to find one

Edit: why the fuck would this get downvoted!? For asking about repairing a speaker??? 🤦🏻‍♂️

sgoldmark2 karma

Bose are pretty complicated machines, but they are fixable, and in general the parts are available. We can't take this on, but you might be able to find someone who can in your area...

kangarufus-1 karma

What is your favourite flavour of ice-cream?

sgoldmark2 karma

Mint Chocolate Chip!

groggboy-2 karma

Any advice on fixing a broken relationship? My wife and I hanging on by a thread and Covid sure hasn’t helped.?

sgoldmark2 karma

Ah, not sure. Patience? Forgiveness?

Outside my area of expertise, but I wish you luck...

NotMyHersheyBar-2 karma

My coffee maker keeps breaking after a year. Its a mr coffee. It stops heating up. Fix it or trash it?

sgoldmark1 karma

If you can find a fixer, try to fix it!