Hobby to p/t business and education question


Old 11-16-06, 12:26 PM
duigoose's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
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Hobby to p/t business and education question

I know the title seems like this post doesn't fit here but I hope it will. I have the opportunity to work from home and have always enjoyed fixing small engines and lawn mowers for friends. I have no education in this, just decent mechanical ability and persistance.
My question is this: Does anyone have experience with 'online' courses in small engine repair and if so, are they worth it?

One of the ones I see says they prepare you for the OPE exam. I'm sure it would be benificial to have that certification but I'm not opening a shop, just word of mouth advertising for something to do and a little extra money.

My wife is in the military so we might move every 'couple' years either out of state or out of country hence my desire not to have an established business but it would be nice to get wholesale pricing on parts.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? The forum has never let me down so far.
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Old 11-16-06, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 205
I took the Foley Belsaw home course,and learn a lot.I am now doing what you want to do and having fun doing it.

Old 11-16-06, 07:33 PM
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Location: USA
Posts: 16,818
I've never taken any courses like that, so I can't help there, but I will say that getting yourself a few engines and mowers and just taking them apart, figuring out how it all works and why the different parts do what they do is about the best learning you can get. There are some things that would be hard to figure out on your own, like how a coil works and other electrical devices, but there's no substitute for hands-on. I'm not saying not to go for the book education, but you'll want to consider that half of your education. Supplement that with hands-on.

As for getting wholesale pricing, that might be hard to get without a shop. Some places want a minimum amount monthly to keep you as a wholesaler. Some places only want a tax ID#.
Old 11-20-06, 09:00 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: chicago
Posts: 73
I Recently Finished A Course By Stratford. Wouldnt Recomend It Though.the Course Was A Word For Word Lessons That I Found In A Book At The Libary. Couldnt Beleive It.the Course Was Very Basic, And $600.00. I Get More Education And Answeres On This Form Than I Got From The Course.find Some Discarded Equiptment And Tear It Apart& Rebuild It, Sell It Or Strip It Down For Spare Parts.i Do This As A Hobby And Now I Get Some Buisness.its Great Doing Something You Like And Making Some Extra Cash On The Side. Good Luck.
Old 11-20-06, 09:45 AM
duigoose's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 306
Thanks for the input

I appreciate everyone's input and jarhead, I think you answered my question. I have been taking engines apart and putting them back together for many years off and on. With the help of this forum my diagnostic ability is getting better too.
The course I was looking at was around $600ish and tried to impress me by saying they would send me a carburetor and basic hand tools as my course progressed, both of which I have enough of. I also have a Tecumseh service manual (old) and Briggs "kinda" service manual, both of which they would send me at course completion.
Sounds like a waste of my money. Thanks again for the input.
Old 11-20-06, 10:05 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
contact the local repair shops see if they need part time help or if you could sub for them , take home some overflow

I suspect you could learn a lot that way

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