Anyone who has written a program or designed a web page knows the value of copy/paste.
Hours upon hours can be saved by a Google search and Ctrl+c Ctrl+v.
Some people say that this behavior dampens the imagination, and emphasizes productivity over effort and ingenuity.
I say “So What?”
If I hit a problem that someone else has solved, why should I reinvent the wheel?
And say what you will about this approach, it makes me more efficient and effective, whether or not I generate the solution myself.
It’s not much of a stretch for me to apply this to me projects in the garage.
Often times it is faster and cheaper (believe it or not) to find parts in a commercial product that solves your needs, rather than buying individual parts or making them yourself.
For example: my Moxon vise. Rather than sourcing ACME threads and nuts that would meet my needs, I find a cheap tool that already used these parts (a C-Clamp) and re-purposed them. A reader suggested that threaded dumbbell handles could meet the same need, and this also seems like a fantastic idea. Both of these solutions are significantly cheaper than buying the “correct” components.
While it’s true that this is not a perfect fit for my programming analogy, the lesson is the same: If somebody else is making it possible for you to save time and/or money, why not take advantage of it?
Other examples of this are:
- Bass guitar machine heads = cheap small worm gears
- Variable speed cordless drill = DC gear motor, battery+charger, keyless chuck, and a DC speed controller
- Craigslist air compressor = Heavy duty AC motor
- Craigslist treadmill = Powerful DC motor with power supply and speed controller
These are a few ideas I’ve come up with (or copied), you’re welcome to share in the comments if you have others.