Tag Archives: thrift

Salvation Army bag sale finds

On Saturday Don and i went to a bag sale that the Salvation Army was having at the ANB Hall.  For $1 we scored the following goods.

This shirt is twill and reminds me of a blue one i had in high school that i cut the sleeves to short sleeve length.

This t-shirt feels nice and old.  It says The Canadian Canoe Co. (limited) Peterborough Ont. Canada 1892-1961.  I doubt the shirt is from the early 60’s but it could be 20 years old.

I have not worn it yet but this could become my favorite Petersburg t-shirt.  When i came across this i grew frantic in my search for other treasures in the mountain of men’s clothing they had piled on tables.

This vest is awful.  It will be perfect for some costume though.

I love this type of shirt.  Light color, pattern, synthetic with retro styling.  Check out the pocket details…

…those points!

Don scored this Woolrich shirt with pearl snaps.  It was too big for me.

Can you ever get enough western style shirts?

This is just a red shirt softened by years of use and washing.

The Fogcutter Bar in Haines, Alaska hoodie.

Estate sale tokens


Estate sale tokens

Originally uploaded by zieak

We swung by an estate sale today just in time for them to announce that anything under $5 was free. Among other things I picked up these 4 tokens. They were priced at $1 each originally.

American Legion School Award which seems to be brass. “courage, character, service, companionship, scholarship” is on this side and the reverse has a woman and a flag and it says “for God and country” and “semper fidelus” with the year 1925 marked on it.

The one with a deer on it is a North American Hunting Club big game collector series medallion. It is series 01 for the whitetail deer.

The Elks (B.P.O.E.) one is from Wrangell, Alaska lodge 1595.

The bright Moose one is from the Petersburg state conference for lodge 1092. It says “good for 1 free drink.”

A day of salvaging

I decided a few days ago that on Sunday i would go to the landfill and pay $5 to do some salvaging.  I had to go to the pool a few times to let a plumber in to work on the boiler and then see the results of his inspection.  After doing that i headed to the dump.  One of the first things that i saw was this bicycle.

Duct taped bike

I’m not sure why someone cut two bike frames and then duct taped them together.  You would think that if they had the tools to cut steel and aluminum that they also could have drilled through and bolted the pieces together.  I ignored the bike until a while later when i decided to collect all the aluminum that i could find to try and make my $5 back.  I got $.40 a pound for aluminum when i went to Juneau and sold scrap.  If i could find 12 and a half pounds of aluminum i could call the trip a wash.  Here is most of the scrap that i came up with.

scrap aluminum

I didn’t want to work too hard for the scrap.  Another guy was there cutting cords and pulling aluminum wheels off of scrap vehicles so i pulled the things that take a bit of work with a relatively low payoff.  For instance, there are 6 bicycle rims there.  I brought a pair of bolt cutters and snipped the spokes where they cross (so i have to make half as many cuts as there are spokes).  I had to remove some tires too.  That’s quite a bit of work for perhaps a pound of metal (I have not weighed any so i don’t know how much to expect.

The bicycle frame is also aluminum but the fork and the crankset have to be removed.  Some of the brake parts will also be scrapped.  You can see the rear triangle of a GT bike frame that i pulled from the duct taped bike.  The straight pieces were from a window frame.  The most weight comes from the other big pieces – cast aluminum from a chop saw.  They require some cleaning too.

I came across two Razor scooters and chucked them in the back of my car.  Turns out that the front “fork” on both of them was bent so i ended up taking them apart for the aluminum.  The deck, upright pipe and handlebars were fairly easy to remove from the steel hingebetween the deck and upright.

Junkyard finds

I got a bit of assorted stuff like the the shovel.  I have found useable tools almost every trip i have ever made to the dump.  I don’t have any of this type of shovel so it will be nice to have it as an option.  A commercial door closer – no idea what i’ll use that for… yet.  The metal Christmas tree bowl is holding some parts for a garage door.  I might need those when i enclose our carport.  The “0” “REG” and “1” things are spiral bound and flip to use for showing the price of things on display.  They are made of plastic so shouldn’t have even been in the metal pile.  The tin box says Dremel on it but i’ll find something else to store in it since i like my Dremel case.  I found four brand new “Property of the United States” metal signs.  Three of them say “All persons are prohibited under penalty of the Law from committing damage.” And one sign says “All persons are prohibited under penalty of the Law from committing trespass.”  Also in the picture are two wheels i pulled from another scooter.

old gold cigs
old gold

The first thing i loaded in the car were these metal signs that i pulled off of an old cigarette dispensing rack for Old Gold regular and king size.  I didn’t bring drill bits with me so i couldn’t remove the one rivet holding the “Don’t run short… buy a carton” piece off so i used my bolt cutters to trim away as much of the display as possible.  The “Remember… courtesy is our policy!” was on the back side that would have faced the employee.  On either side were the smaller ads for Kent cigarettes.

Kent Cigarettes

I also picked up a chair.  I cut the arms off of it on the spot with my new cordless reciprocating saw.  I’ll reupholster it somehow and it will end up either deck furniture, an office chair or the aluminum base will fetch a few dollars.

chair before
chair after

One last thing that i picked up – a display rack for Astroturf door mats.  It’s on casters so i’ll definitely be keeping the base because i love to be able to roll things around.  Right now i’m using it to store my collection of aluminum scrap.

giant sponge

This was also in the metal pile – a giant sheet of sponge.  The deck boards are 2x6s.  Ollie liked lying on it.

Litter benefits me


Litter benefits me

Originally uploaded by zieak

I spent a few minutes and checked a spot near my office that high school kids go. I’ve seen them sneak down there during school hours and before and after school. I found plenty of cigarette butts, beer and liquor bottles, pop cans, and empty snack wrappers. I’ve decided i’ll start to patrol it and will harass kids I see go down there. I picked up 10 botle caps that got me 3 points each in the mycokerewards program. Big thanks to Kevin for texting me codes when he gets them!

7 Reasons why LEGO® bricks should replace the US Dollar

The news is depressing.  The US Dollar is slumping.  Canada’s dollar is of equal value.  I hear that according to the Big Mac Index that a burger would cost over $7 in some European countries.  Perhaps all of my future travels will be to developing nations where the dollar still has a relatively high value.  Or we could switch to LEGO® bricks for currency.  Here are my reasons.

  1. Then our currency could never be “worthless” – if nothing else we could play with it when we can no longer buy things with the money.  I suppose some people are already doing this with penny stacking.
  2. Some of our money is made out of metal. That may have been fine during the iron age but today’s economies revolve around petroleum products. Let our currency show that!
  3. Every child would instinctively be raised only knowing how to save (even horde) money.  How many times have you seen a penny on the street?  How full is that “need a penny” tray?  If those were even 1×1 LEGO® bricks they would have been picked up before you ever saw them.  Nobody gives them away unless they  are doing it for a gift.  And if they didn’t give you Lego then they would have given you money — see?  Cash is a secondary gift to LEGO® kits.
  4. If you ever stepped on a LEGO® piece you know that you’d never just leave it lying around.  You would always keep it stored in a safe place where you are not going to step on one with your heel while barefoot.
  5. It wouldn’t be prone to slipping out of your pocket and in between the couch cushions.  Those characteristic bumps would make that almost impossible.
  6. I have more LEGO® pieces than i have money.  I bet quite a few people are like that.  If my net worth were measured in LEGO® pieces then i would owe nobody and would have a significant stash in the spare bedroom closet.
  7. Counterfeits would be easy to spot.  “Hey, wait — this is a Megablock!  What are you trying to pull here?”

Selling scrap metal in Juneau


Selling scrap metal in Juneau

Originally uploaded by zieak

Right off the ferry in Juneau we stopped by Auke Bay Cans where they bought the scrap copper and aluminum I brought. We had to sort my pipe and wire but otherwise just dumped the boxes into plastic garbage cans and weighed them. She cut me a check for just over $77. Less than a half hour from when we drove off the ferry we were pulling out of their driveway.

Tarnished bell


Tarnished bell

Originally uploaded by zieak

A few weeks ago we bought this brass bell at a garage sale. (I have it disassembled here to work on cleaning it up.) It was marked for $10 but we bought it with a pile of other things including some records which we got for $10 less than they were asking si it was kind of free.

Why would we want a bell like this? Well, in many bars there is a bell hung up. In Alaska, if you ring the bell you are buying a round for everyone in the place. My point? We bought a bar at a garage sale earlier. I’ll cover that later!

I started to clean up the bell using a brass polish recipe I found online. Salt, powdered laundry detergent, lemon juice, warm water… It did a good job smothing the bell but it didn’t remove the tarnishing. Today I started using sand paper to bring the bell back to life. It works better but my hands are cramping.

Writing blog posts from my cell phone isn’t really helping my hands relax though.

Mickey Mouse Spoon


Mickey Mouse Spoon

Originally uploaded by zieak

I really should document more of my garage sale and thrift store finds better. Saturday morning we got up and went to four garage sales. At the first we bought a t-shirt and two sets of glasses with ducks on them. The night before we had FFF at Mike, Joy and Earl’s place. They don’t have many glasses in good shape. Now they have 8 more.

At the next sale I got this Mickey Mouse spoon. Why? Because it is identical (except for a nick from the dishwasher) to one I had as a kid. Is that still kicking around mom? Bought it for 25¢ at Stacy Etcher’s garage sale. I also got a Snoopy fork for the same price.

How we’ll save a few dollars a year

We had no idea that our local grocery store gave two cents credit for each shopping bag you bring of your own. Cena just found out when she brought our recycled cat food bags turned giant industrial strength shopping bags to the store. If we were to shop every week and use 10 bags that comes to $10.40 a year in savings to us.  Our cat food bag turned shopping bag is much larger than a typical shopping bag so our first time using them we only saved 10 cents (five bags).  Of course, our intent is not to save money.  We really just don’t need all those plastic bags.  We have a tote completely full of them already.