Self-Repair Manifesto

While looking for an image for this week’s post on manifestos, I came across this “Self-Repair Manifesto” from, which I thought was pretty cool. Although the “If You Can’t Fix it, You Don’t Own It” principle would be a pretty dang tall order in this day and age.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

valter ferraz February 16, 2012 at 5:23 am

yes indeed… sigh, this generation is lost…. I live in the wrong age, I’m 32 and identify myself a lot with AoM principles and teachings, which are pretty much lost is this age of bitching men.

kevin February 16, 2012 at 8:12 am


jimmm February 16, 2012 at 8:28 am

And maybe we have the obligation to express our displeasure to the companies whose products and policies run counter to this manifesto!

Ben Holeton February 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Amen! I get a LOT of extra work because so many men can’t make basic repairs themselves. Sadly, these days it doesn’t seem like that’s a desirable trait from most females

Brian February 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm

iPod anyone?

All else I tackle with gusto.

Gilmoure February 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I’ve used iFixit’s parts and guides to repair a couple of iPods and an iPhone 3 that Apple wrote off (they sold me an iPhone 4 at $100 discount). It helps to have the right tools but iFixit has those for sale as well, though you can find most finder tools at a decent tool store (something more specialized than Sears). I was a mechanic and medic in the Air Force and then worked construction and now computer admin. It all comes down to understanding the system, seeing how parts and actions interrelate and then finding someone who’s already seen a similar problem to give advice.

Eric R February 17, 2012 at 1:21 am

If I can crack that case open, it’s half fixed already !

Aaron M February 17, 2012 at 5:50 am

I can’t wait to get the poster-sized copy to hang up in my garage!

My most recent experiences in self-repair have been to my new old house. We just bought a place that was built in ’58, before pre-fab roof trusses and 3-conductor wiring. I’ve got a new sump system in (I had a little help on that one from a plumber friend), replaced electrical outlets, I’m installing a water softener, repaired my washing machine that was damaged in the move, plan to overhaul a hoover vacuum that was left by previous owners, build shelves in the basement, replaced a bunch of door hardware, and in a year or two I’m re-roofing the place myself.

I’m always careful to research anything that’s new to me. All the local building codes and tons of diy info are available online. I’m also careful to point out to my wife how much money we saved over contracting the work every time I do one of these jobs. We’ve lived here less than a month and it’s already thousands.

I’m totally getting a crossbow for next deer season! :-D

David Hufford February 17, 2012 at 6:31 am

While I was lucky enough to have a father and grandfather who could repair most anything mechanical or electrical—grandpa being a now horribly politically incorrect gunsmith—and having had most of those skills passed on to me, I also gotta take issue with the “If you can’t fix it don’t own it.”

Frankly many of today’s products are not made to be repaired and are next to impossible to even attempt. They are disposable and it is in fact, often much cheaper to replace them than to repair them. Try getting parts…

Or you come to the situation as you will with today’s autos that even if you keep up with the increasing reliance on computer technology, you will be unable to repair much because special tools are often required to work on them. And the tools are way too expensive for a man who does a one time repair on a private vehicle. This ain’t gonna change.

Yes, it is good to be proficient with tools, but there is only so much time in a day. It is better in 2012 to be able to hire someone to do the work for you so you can concentrate on things you need to do.

I agree with the spirit of the idea of the manifesto, but it is of a regrettably past age.

Arthur Fernandez February 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

These days, if you fix things yourself, you are considered cheap.

Ash February 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I think especially with auto repair it can be expensive if you don’t know what to do. I am 19 and a mechanic and fix cars all the time that individuals shouldn’t have tried to fix. I just had to replace door handles on a van after they broke and he cut the handles off. Instead of just replacing the handles I had to grind the bolts out which cost him a bit more due to labor. But there is a lot that can be done with $129 auto store scanner, common sense, and the internet.

I agree fixing things is a thing of the past. It is sad but I get free stuff all the time from people who can’t fix stuff its not all bad.

DC Hazen February 19, 2012 at 7:44 am

We do live in a disposable world, but attempting a repair is sometimes as satisfying
as actually being able to complete it. I won’t even open the hood on my wife’s new
car but my kids are always bring things to me and the “Thanks Dad!” when you can
help them out is a GREAT feeling.

Rob February 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Oh man, I can get behind this!
Also, with the internet, fixing things yourself has never been easier. You can look up just about any schematic in less time than it takes to get to the hardware store. You can join forums with people the world over that all have working knowledge of English. And you can order parts for very cheap and/or find a local hackerspace that can rent time on a 3-D machine and make a part yourself. Man, being a fixer has never been better!

Olaf the Orful February 20, 2012 at 1:50 am

I have always been a keen DIY’er. I started messing with mains electricity at about 10 years of age, thankfully I didn’t blow myself or the house up, but it taught me plenty. Today I drive a 33-year old Mercedes-Benz, which still runs fine. I get a good feeling when I think of how much of the world’s resources and energy I am saving by not buying a fancy new car, which I would not be able to fix myself, because it is practically a sealed unit!

Tyler December 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I’m lucky to have grown up with a DIY-type dad. Since he bought his house when I was a kid, we’ve taken down walls, put up new ones, and added a pool and a few decks, all without help except from our neighbors every now and then. He’s helped me countless times with my car, and we even put a wooden bumper on his truck after it got rear-ended. Our motto has been “good enough for the girls we run with” (“the girls” being my mom and sister). Most – if not all – of my handyman knowledge came from him.

Nowadays, with me in college and away from home, it’s hard to do those things all the time. I can’t do many repairs on my car in the dorm parking lot, and many around-the-apartment fixes usually require a call to maintenance. However, I always at least google the problem before sending it in. My 5-year-old Macbook is still running, and I plan on keeping my new iMac alive for at least 5 more years. If I can open it, I’ll fix it myself. Even if I can’t get it working again, at least I’ll learn something. July 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

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