Mechanical Adeptness - geographically

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Old 11-05-12, 03:53 PM
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Mechanical Adeptness - geographically

It seems to me, solely based on reading posts here and elsewhere, that New York residents seem to be generally somewhat lacking in mechanical experience and skills - yet New York's surrounding states seem among the higher in that category. Why?

It wouldn't be relevant to compare growing up in a midwestern farm community and later serving as a navy snipe to New York. We bailed hay, souped up cars, worked in filling stations, etc. Our junior high schools taught "shop." But, still, that hardly explains it?
 
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Old 11-05-12, 03:58 PM
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What is this opinion based on?
 
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Old 11-05-12, 04:19 PM
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I think you may be talking more about NYC vs NY state. NY state has plenty of farms and small towns where people DIY all the time, I'm sure. Same thing probably applies to Chicago vs IL state, Detroit vs MI state, etc. As well as any other large city vs the outskirts. As a rule, I think urban vs suburban vs hicksville...there will always be some difference in skill levels. Out in the woods...you figure it out or make do somehow and you learn how to fix it before the next time it happens.

Much of the difference lies in own vs rent as well. I'm sure many urban dweller homeowners learn about their boilers and homes other systems after a few payments to service techs, renters should usually call the landlord.

Also...consider this...regional differences. I know jack squat about snow blowers (just fancy tillers, right?) or boilers....but I can fix darn near anything else (if I feel like it).
 
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Old 11-05-12, 04:46 PM
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I agree with Gunguy that it is more of an urban vs. suburban thing than any widespread geographical issue. It also depends a lot on the mechanical aptitude and interests of your parents. I was lucky in that my daddy had lots of mechanical skills and in a few I surpassed him but in many others I could never come close. My friends who had similar experiences (generally a blue-collar father) also are able to do many things. On the other hand, those people I know that had a parent (or parents) that worked white-collar jobs were more apt to NOT have the skills that we DIYers take for granted. Not 100% true but the trend is quite apparent.

One other issue is male vs. female. Thankfully the attitudes are changing but even as late as twenty years ago girls were regularly denied any education into "male oriented" areas and for a woman to enter into a traditionally male field often took a court order. I can remember when I was in high school (considerably more than twenty years ago) the few boys that wanted to take cooking classes were ridiculed and teased unmercifully and the girls were absolutely prohibited from taking any of the "shop" classes.
 
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Old 11-05-12, 07:03 PM
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I certainly have been influenced by my parents about DIY. They didn't have money to hire others to do everything for them. So they had to do it themselves. Now that I have my own place to take care of and no money to hire people to do it, I do it myself. If I did have the money, I would hire out a lot of the work, but I would still do some things.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 03:28 AM
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I agree it has to do with upbringing, necessity, and willingness to learn. I worked for a guy once who was a whiz at keeping records, books, making a pencil zing. He actually had no idea where the hood release was on his car. He found the gas fill door out of necessity, but other than putting gas in it, the car was on it's own. He even filled it with diesel once . Different strokes.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 08:02 AM
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I know here in the mining town/city I grew up in, our parents knew how to fix stuff or work around issues.
The generations that followed (mine included), it comes down to ownership vs. renting and money to hire or replace vs. fix it or work around the issues.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 08:12 AM
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I'll bet there are some "urban" guys in NYC that can disassemble a car quicker than any of us.

I spent a lot of time on a farm when I was growing up. You either fixed it yourself or it didn't get fixed. Money was only part of the reason. If a piece of equipment broke down just when it was needed you didn't have time to wait for somebody else to fix it.

Personally, I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it myself.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 08:25 AM
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Might have something to do with the discussions here???

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ge...ber-posts.html

Need is but one factor. Other situations and/or conditions might be where you live, how and or where you where raised, the environment in which you live, etc. Example: Single Family Home, Condo or Apartment, etc.

Another situation or condition might be where circumstances do not permit or allow the do it yourselves to fix some thing. City codes and/or condo or apartment rules may not allow someone as another example to fix their car in their own driveway or parking space, etc.

Many factors may apply. All must be considered. IMO....
What's yours????
 
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Old 11-06-12, 08:49 AM
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I'll bet there are some "urban" guys in NYC that can disassemble a car quicker than any of us.

I spent a lot of time on a farm when I was growing up. You either fixed it yourself or it didn't get fixed. Money was only part of the reason. If a piece of equipment broke down just when it was needed you didn't have time to wait for somebody else to fix it.

Personally, I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it myself.
Got a chuckle out of you first line.
Myself, I'm now living in an area where I either have to fix it myself, or a long wait for someone to fix it. Money and time are two big factors why most people in my area are as handy as they are.

I also get satisfaction from fixing stuff myself. Especially when I can make it better.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 09:58 AM
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I'll bet there are some "urban" guys in NYC that can disassemble a car quicker than any of us.
I don't doubt that at all! I've only been to NYC once, around 1970. I remember going down the interstate one morning and seeing a disabled car on the medium. 2-3 hrs later the car had no tires, engine, interior and who knows what else..... and all this was during the daytime

getting back on topic I learned long ago it was usually cheaper to do it myself and when the quality wasn't up to snuff, at least I didn't have to pay to have it done. It really gets my blood boiling if I don't have time to do something, hire a so called pro only to have a finished product that I could have done a lot better
 
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Old 11-06-12, 10:20 AM
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It really gets my blood boiling if I don't have time to do something, hire a so called pro only to have a finished product that I could have done...
Time is my issue these days.
I try setting myself a short list I am sure I can accomplish in the given time and normally am lucky to knock off half with the wife and kids demanding my time.
 
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Old 11-06-12, 02:02 PM
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It really gets my blood boiling if I don't have time to do something, hire a so called pro only to have a finished product that I could have done a lot better.
I'm the same. I can run copper pipe with the best of the plumbers and I'm almost as good with threaded steel pipe. I'm pretty lousy at bending conduit but otherwise darn good with electrical. My daddy was a painter and he showed me several "tricks of the trade" so I'm not too bad with painting (although I detest it). I can do sheet metal although it takes me forever and while the end result is serviceable it generally is not all that pretty. Same with welding.

But when it comes to working with wood I have fourteen thumbs and they are all left hand thumbs. It doesn't matter how many times I measure something it still comes out too long or too short. I can't saw a straight line to save my life and I bend every third nail I try to hammer into place. (That is the primary reason why I now own several pneumatic nailers. ) But anytime I have hired someone to do some small job they either were way over my allowable budget or they ended up doing a job not much better (often worse) than I could have done myself.

Of course now that I am retired from gainful employment I have the time but no money OR inclination. Unfortunately, I also have far too many incomplete projects.
 
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