Monday, October 3, 2011

Sewing Machines and Chainsaws

I was recently talking to a fellow I know and he was in the market for a chainsaw, something to do with cleaning up after a bit of rain and wind. He had spoken with his neighbor about it, and his neighbor was one of those old school New Englanders with a certain kind of practical wisdom.

"What kind of saw would you recommend?" my friend asked.
"Don't matter as long as it is orange." Was the Wise New Englander's response.

My buddy laughed when telling me this story because he thought it was the funniest advice he ever got. "...As long as it is orange." I thought that was the best advice ever for buying a chainsaw.

A couple years ago my Pa got the itch to buy himself a saw (the $80 green Walmart one broke), so we spent the better part of a Saturday driving all over creation to check out different dealers and different brands of chainsaws. All the really nice professional grade saws were orange. So my dad bought an orange saw. I also had an epiphany that day as we were riding around, and because I bet most of you reading this could care less about chainsaws I shall share this bit of wisdom with you.

The chainsaw he decided on was a little over $500. That is $500 that my father will never have to spend again on a chainsaw. How many things that you purchase for more than $500 would you consider disposable? Nothing I would hope, but we have been trained otherwise.

A car is the first thing that came to mind, how many of us buy a car and expect to have it for a lifetime? Some numbers to illustrate my thought: $20,000 price of a new car $12,000 what the car is worth 2 years later when you trade it in, do the math you paid a little over $10 a day, not including gas, insurance, or registration/titling fees, just for the privilege to drive a new car. Why are you trading it in? I bet it still gets you from point A to point B. You would fire your oil man if he recommended that you upgrade your furnace every two years for $4000, now if he put wheels on it and painted a cool color and parked it in your drive way, you might consider it.

Next on the list is electronics. How many of us fork over a few hundred dollars every couple of years for a faster sleeker computer? If you are young enough I bet you might be one of those that pays to upgrade your phone every so often for a "better" model. Who would upgrade their washer and dryer ever two years just because the new model will wash your clothes two minutes faster?

So that was my epiphany.

I tell you all of this and now I have to convince you to buy a sewing machine. Why drop $1200 on a sewing machine when your grand mother's feather weight works just fine? ( This is why I make a terrible salesman). The only good answer I have is: Because you can. If like my father you are a buying a tool than your old sewing machine should be fine as long as it has the functionality you need....I say that and I am reminded of my grand father. He was a master carpenter and contractor back in his day, but never owned a nail gun. "Why the hell would I want one of those, my hammer works fine and those damn nails are expensive..."

I suspect that for most sewing is a hobby and as such by extension the sewing machine is a toy. A useful toy, but a toy non the less. And if you are sewing for fun, you may find that a new machine makes things a little more fun, and expands your hobby with increased functionality. And the nice thing about a $500 sewing machine or chainsaw is that if you take care of it, your grand kids will still have it around in 40 years to play with.

1 comment:

  1. Another note...Tractors, the ones that are green last forever too...Why can't they make a car that runs like those green tractors?

    check the water bottle holders out on this site...You should stock the pattern!!