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Free Stuff - Look at what I got today.

 
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1. This dog named Moose was mine for only 4 hours last week. He had gotten loose. I called an emergency number on his collar but got no call back.

We had a busy evening which started with walking him up and down May street where he was found. Then we went to the dog park where we met many people and dogs but didn't find the owner who had already been there earlier. Many people petted Moose. I needed to transfer my truck from Cook street where it is often parked, to my storage, so we walked there and as luck would have it, Moose likes truck rides. Finally we ended up at Starbucks where Moose was a big hit. People fed and petted him while I placed a lost dog ad on Used Victoria. He had already been fed and watered twice in our travels.

At 10:30 pm, the after hours guy at the animal shelter called and gave me the owner's phone number. There had been a problem with his pager. Five minutes later Moose was picked up by Erik who explained that Moose had pulled away from his daughter in pursuit of a cat. He got away from me twice, one cat and one squirrel.

I'm sure Moose has learned his lesson after this harrowing experience of being lost

2. While dropping off stuff for a friend at the Salvation Army, I noticed that one pair of shoes was very high quality and about the right size for my neice. They fit her perfectly. She said they felt like walking on air and that she has seen that brand go for over $100.00

3. Someone left a large box of condoms in a garage that I cleaned out. I'm offering a prize to anyone who can get through the whole box in 6 months without resorting to the production of water balloons.
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Dale Hodgins
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1. This heavy old Rockwell saw takes 6 1/2 inch blades which aren't readily available any more. I got it free at a yard sale. I will use it to power a shaker table, soil sifter or other device that requires vibration. By attaching weights to the existing blade, it can be made to vibrate wildly. The plastic jug beside the saw is filled with mostly stainless nuts and bolts. It was in a shed that I demolished.

2. The wind surfer is over 20 years old. Made in W.Germany. It was given to me at a jobsite. Sold for $35.00

3. I found this "cure all" medalion on the sidewalk. Freaks wear them to ward off radiation, to cure disease and to keep evil leprichans at bay. I pried the center chunk loose but found only a glue spot and no fairy dust. I gave it to an old guy who does lapidary work. He will fit a nice stone into the space.

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Posts: 72
Location: Edmonton Alberta
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Excellent work Dale, I will continue to look to you for guidance and inspiration on how to direct my "gathering" impulse.
 
Dale Hodgins
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1. I went to buy some kitchen stuff for my bus and was given some other stuff. This biting tool will work great for grabbing corn or stirfry from the pan. I have already used it to bite my friend's ass. Yep, I'm mature.

2. The metal cups are good for camping. I need lots of things to lend to customers who lose their water bottles and other belongings.

3. These high end hiking boots will go into the loaner pile. Some people are bound to show up for hikes wearing flip flops.

I've come up with a way for the bus to generate mountains of free stuff. Whenever it looks like I will have unsold seats I intend to offer trades. I'll take bikes, camping gear, tools, garden produce including meat and wild harvested fruit, restaurant tab, art, garage rental or anything elese that I can use or sell. The largest page of the web site is dedicated to this concept. Dozens of people have already expressed interest in parting with their unwanted belongings in exchange for a trip. My time in the building salvage business has taught me how to sell anything. I'll probably sell of stuff to my customers and I'll enlist someone to hit the flea markets. In this way I'll extend my reuse and recycling network to hundreds of people who normally don't have a market for their stuff and create a revenue stream that large competitors couldn't begin to compete with. I'm definately going to get some media coverage out of this.

Trades won't be limited to stuff. Eventually I plan to get lots of farm labour from travellers who want a farm experience as part of the vacation.
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Dale Hodgins
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This time it was me giving stuff away. All of the 2x4s, shiplap boards, thin plywood, insulation, and shorts for firewood were given away on this demolition job which was on airport land where a sale was not allowed. I brought in only 5 people to grab this stuff.

The house contained 9.2 tons of stucco and plaster with no wire in it. I kept this product very clean and was able to dump it all for $40.00 as it was used to expand a parking area. . If this material was contaminated with insulation or other crap it would have cost $1000 to dump it !

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Dale Hodgins
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The only items sold were the floor and ceiling joists and four beams. The 14 ft. 2x8 fir floor joists were sold to my brother Bevin for $5 each. That's a great deal and he also filled up on free 2x4, shiplap and other stuff on each of his 3 visits. Those joists were planed which made them unsuitable for re-milling.

The full dimension 2x6 ceiling joists were sold to a commercial buyer who makes fancy window sills, flooring and other things from top quality recycled fir. At $1 per board ft. the 2x6 brought $1 per running ft. He also bought all of the 6x8 beams at $3.60 per running ft.

So, I managed to have a successful demolition where 2/3 of the materials were given away and it was still the most profitable small house I've done.

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Posts: 28
Location: Utah
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LOL. Just noticed this thread and its awesome. I once owned a second hand shop with a friend and learned the precious art of UP-CYCLING lol.

The information I would like to pass along is this... While I was trashing, road siding and other techniques my partner was out pacing me and I could not figure out how (We both scavengered the same areas pretty much).

His secret I finally learned was this. We was located in a area that had a large number of churches and a large elderly population. So he had some cards printed up locally and went to speak with the pastors, priests and leaders of the churches.

What he offered was a free cleanup service or small payback. Basically when a elderly person passed on and had no family or the family wanted nothing to do with the home / apartment they would call him and after the family and church picked over what they wanted he would haul away the rest at no charge. In many cases they even asked if they left behind decent resell-able merchandise if he would simply make a donation to the church (Being he was the co-owner of a second hand store) and he did both very successfully.

So if your in a similar area this may be something to look into. Most of the churches looked at what he did as a community service for both the saddened and crushed families who didn't want to deal with the loss and cleaning up as well as selling good used clothing and furniture to the local community at a substantial savings. He found a few treasures and made the donations as he promised and the churches appreciated him for years until he passed away.

Good luck and happy treasure hunting. I will remember this next treasure I find LOL

 
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We had a scythe like that! we took the blade off (when we bought a pair of new scythes tailored to our fit), and used the handle as a pitch fork. Because of the cure, you dont have to bend down hardly at all.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I'm giving away lots of really clean fiberglass batts this week. Some good firewood to come soon. Forum members in Victoria B.C. are first in line. Lots of cedar slabs coming near Victoria in two months. More fibreglass to come in Nanaimo in about six weeks. ----- To all members on the south Island ----- I regularly give away all sorts of useful stuff from demolition projects. PM me with a phone number and wish list.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Mark Phillips wrote:LOL. Just noticed this thread and its awesome. I once owned a second hand shop with a friend and learned the precious art of UP-CYCLING lol.

The information I would like to pass along is this... While I was trashing, road siding and other techniques my partner was out pacing me and I could not figure out how (We both scavengered the same areas pretty much).

His secret I finally learned was this. We was located in a area that had a large number of churches and a large elderly population. So he had some cards printed up locally and went to speak with the pastors, priests and leaders of the churches.

What he offered was a free cleanup service or small payback. Basically when a elderly person passed on and had no family or the family wanted nothing to do with the home / apartment they would call him and after the family and church picked over what they wanted he would haul away the rest at no charge. In many cases they even asked if they left behind decent resell-able merchandise if he would simply make a donation to the church (Being he was the co-owner of a second hand store) and he did both very successfully.

So if your in a similar area this may be something to look into. Most of the churches looked at what he did as a community service for both the saddened and crushed families who didn't want to deal with the loss and cleaning up as well as selling good used clothing and furniture to the local community at a substantial savings. He found a few treasures and made the donations as he promised and the churches appreciated him for years until he passed away.

Good luck and happy treasure hunting. I will remember this next treasure I find LOL



Mark, are you the guy who avoids camping fees by staying in church parking lots ?
 
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Wow Dale, I'm a big fan of what you're doing.

Our throw-away society allows so much wealth to erode simply by not having the stones to care for it, maintain it, and put it to use.

You are using your limited time and ample energy to reclaim that wealth and spread all of that embodied energy around- for free or a small fee.

You are also building up a deep bank of favors that your community owes you- Everyone Knows Dale Is The Guy To See About A Thing.

I am REALLY enjoying this thread.
 
Dale Hodgins
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nathan luedtke wrote:Wow Dale, I'm a big fan of what you're doing.

Our throw-away society allows so much wealth to erode simply by not having the stones to care for it, maintain it, and put it to use.

You are using your limited time and ample energy to reclaim that wealth and spread all of that embodied energy around- for free or a small fee.

You are also building up a deep bank of favors that your community owes you- Everyone Knows Dale Is The Guy To See About A Thing.

I am REALLY enjoying this thread.



Thanks Nathan. My add for forum members on Vancouver island produced a call from a guy a few miles away who is building a rocket stove. He's going to come by for some fire bricks which I almost never find a market for. I'm going to help with the build after I get some time and the book from the Wisners.

I watched about 4000 bricks and 10 tons of granite go for fill this week when there were not enough takers. I did manage to sell 500 bricks, then when the phone stopped ringing I called the buyers back to give the remainder away. One energetic young couple who had spent $100 for 400 bricks took me up on the free offer and took 1000 more. A friend who is unemployed took a load and then posted a photo of the nice clean bricks for sale. He got $160 for about 5 hours worth of mortar bashing. He returned for a second load which now resides on his truck until they sell. Not a bad gig for someone who is out of work. I had only a few days to remove about 40 tons of material by hand, so saving stuff myself was not possible. The couple who grabbed all those bricks will come to a new job next week where they have first dibs on all of the landscaping. They just bought their first house and are very glad that they answered the brick add, since it will lead to tons more stuff. The guy has a super rugged one ton truck so I'll probably trade him some good stuff for future hauling.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've gathered lots of free stuff since my last post. Some really high end sun screens, shampoo, 300 lb. of computer paper, 36 big rolls of toilet paper meant for those commercial size dispensers, many yard tools, 3 van loads of oak firewood, 2 bikes and a dozen things I can't recall right now.

Six weeks ago my friend asked me where one would get an Adirondac chair. I said," you're already half there now that I know you need one." This chair was on the boulevard with a free sign on it. I was on my bike so I carefully hoisted it over my head and pedaled a few blocks to my vehicle.

I've ridden the bike more this year than at any time since my teens. Piles of free stuff and other opportunities are easily noticed at biking speeds. Parking is simple. Transport can be complicated.

I would have never seen this $2 coin from my van. The bike is paying in more than just gas savings.

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Dale Hodgins
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The most important thing I've grabbed lately is large quantities of fruit from wild areas. Better than organic.

I picked up about 600 lb. of coffee waste for the garden, from Starbucks.

While in line, holding big pails I explained what I was up to. The counter girl gave me a free coffee and a voucher for another. She's a gardener. A guy in line watched a hugelkultur video on my phone. He lives in a dry area of Spain. Since he was returning the next day, he gave me his card with $10 on it. He's joining the forum.

On my next visit, I fixed the toilet and was given more free coffee vouchers. These people don't want my money !

Each voucher comes with an apology written inside. " We're sorry that your visit to ... ". I enjoyed all of it, the conversation, the pontificating and the free stuff.
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Dale Hodgins
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I've grabbed a ton of free stuff since my last post. Several nice dressers and a 32 inch Toshiba TV with the best picture ever. This top quality couch didn't fit the elevator at a condo and was given to me. It's about 150 lb. These things went to friends and relatives.

The tall maple chairs swivel on ball bearings. They were on the boulevard, as was the free power washer.

The scythe is from Austria and came with a new blade still in the wrapper. I was unloading my give aways at Value Village when I encountered Rob, a regular demolition customer. He took me to his truck and gave me the scythe, several hammers, five - made in England garden shears, shovels, hoes ... I've given Rob firewood many times. Maybe karma does exist.
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pollinator
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Location: CW Ontario, Zone 5
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Wow Dale, those are some impressive loads of free stuff. I've been trying to think of what to use to make a mobile chicken house for a few days now and then yesterday I was cutting this old couple's lawn down the road and they were going to take a load of wood to the dump and asked me if I wanted it to burn. I said yes please. Now I am in the process of turning it into a mobile chicken house. There are all kinds of nice pieces of 2x4 and 2x6.

Here is my thread on the building process. http://www.permies.com/t/38627/chickens/Mobile-Chicken-House-free-wood#301275
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Dale Hodgins
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I replied to the other thread.

I'm on a quest to find unique furniture for the cottage and for a picnic shelter that is not yet built. This stuff was all obtained through Used Victoria. The last one is a dense sheet of foam that will be part of the cold storage door.
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Dale Hodgins
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I got this swing on Sunday. It will sit somewhere along the trails on the farm. Under a big maple seems right.
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Dale Hodgins
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This is Belinda. The manager of the coffee shop told her to throw dozens of these porcelain cups with rubber seal lids in the dumpster. New ones arrived and these failed to sell. "I will not waste brand new cups, I'm giving them to customers."

A couple days ago, I gave the staff a bag of wild harvested apples and plums. Belinda returned my bag today. I needed it. Not only did I get a free coffee, I got the cup and 7 big slices of pumpkin loaf which I will share at work. I supply the crew with fruit and vegetables. Most of them are members of the Tseshaht native tribe. They fish, a lot. Every day, one or more guys bring sockeye salmon both fresh and smoked. We've been working hard and eating like kings.
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Dale Hodgins
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I got this trailer for free today. It will be my conduit to further free stuff, since it holds a good load. It has two spare tires,  one of which is brand-new with the little nibs still on the rubber.

There were  no papers,  so I had to sign a declaration and have the guy who gave it to me sign the declaration. I took it to a notary who witnessed my signature,  and that made it all legal. I paid $25.00.

As I drove home with my prize, I saw a nice pair of  driving gloves on the side of the road. Ka ching.

Later in the day,  I started a new job. I opened up the shed and there was my new rainwear from mountain equipment co-op,  four liters of oil, two extension cords,   two pairs of leather gloves, a fiberglass extension pole and a lawnmower. There's a very old looking table saw further back. I have to move some junk to get to it and see if it's any good.
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Dale Hodgins
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There's been lots of other free stuff since I last updated this. I didn't buy one item for Christmas this year. I simply told visitors to go over to the shelf and pick out something from the hundreds of salvaged items from my jobs and the roadside.
.....
It pays to advertise. The guy driving the truck , wanted to build a playhouse for his son. He ran an ad looking for free scrap wood. I searched through the ads that day and realized that he may provide the perfect home for a playhouse that became mine as part of a demolition. I sent a few pictures and we arranged to meet. After about an hour of clearing the way and dragging the little building on a skid , toward the driveway, we were able to load it.

Had he not run this ad , there is no way that this windfall would have come his way. He owes me two hours of labor.
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Location: San Francisco/Gualala, Ca (zone 8)
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So...I still haven't introduced myself to the forums, and I'm sure I'll get around to it, but seeing Paul's request in the dailyish email...

Amazing find Dale!

Our big score this winter was *20* dumptrucks worth of wood chips.

Longer story: CALTRANS had hired a local company to take down hazardous trees along the highway and rather than haul them all the way out to their dump site (1 hour away) we offered to give them a closer alternative.

I know there are better methods than woodchips, but the previous owner of our fairly new property had scraped the soil all the way down to bare clay and I really didn't want to see any more of our upper pasture wash down the driveway this winter so...

Here are the before and after pics:
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Before (yes, that horse is watching you...)
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Dale Hodgins
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In a few years those chips will be soil. I wouldn't worry about nitrogen issues or other issues about the chips, when the other option is lack of soil and erosion. Although wood chipping uses a lot of energy, they are going to do it whether you use the chips or not.
 
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Great finds Dale.
 
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I'm a carpenter/furniture maker by trade, plus a musician and a scavenger... Here's the result of a lot of free time after work around 2010 when I lived in a trailer on a 160 acre horse ranch. It had an old junkyard on about an acre (not a landfill, but but old cars and trucks and farm equipment... Useable metal!) Here's one of my creations from that time. Coincidentally, our neck of the holler where my land is now was also used to store vehicles and such by the OG homesteaders and I'm finding much artistic media to feed my creative needs. You'd think I'd have a workshop set up on my own property by now... Time...
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Posts: 124
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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Dale Hodgins wrote:The geode was left in a pile of junk that I was paid to haul. I'll advertise it for $20 and insert it in cob if unsold.

The tiles contain shells and bones. The price tags say $19 each. I may include these in a cob bench. There are 7 of them.

These wood turnings are from a long gone buffet. They're grapefruit sized. These will adorn the RMH .


Dale If you still have that geode, I'd buy it from you. I'm in NH USA. Thanks, Josephine



 
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Dale you captioned this as a home made carving knife but I believe its use was as an oyster knife. Having opened tens of gallons of oysters.
 
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found this rocking chair next to the dumpster! The seat was very torn, I think by cats. I made a new seat (crochet) to cover the old one. I did some sanding and oiling to the wooden parts. That's everything needed to have a wonderfull rocking chair now

 
Dale Hodgins
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Yes, someone told me it was an oyster knife a couple years ago.

That's an awesome rocking chair.

Whenever I go to the transfer station, there are good things in the bins. I used the long hook and pulled out three good garbage cans yesterday. The smallest one is slightly rat chewed, but the handles are fine. The giant one is filthy and will be left out in the rain. The one with wheels is in perfect shape. I own about 40 different garbage cans, which sit at various customers houses until they are full or I need them for something. I never buy garbage cans. Free cans usually don't have lids. I never need lids, so that works out just fine.
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Dale Hodgins
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I've gone through quite a bit of free stuff, since last posting. I'm not sure that I need an Edison Dick Mimeoscope. I checked it out and they sell for a couple hundred dollars. I'd like to have a couple hundred dollars.

I got this mirror from the same person. I was paid to haul some junk. The stuff was amongst it.
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I've gone through quite a bit of free stuff, since last posting. I'm not sure that I need an Edison Dick Mimeoscope. ....


That thing looks interesting (and valuable)! I could think of some ways to use it: as a lamp, or as a light-box for tracing drawings. Sure there can be more ways ...
 
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I saw this post and have to comment.  One thing I can add.  Thanks to the great state of CT with its " disposable society" attitude.  I have very little out of pocket money for my future camp. One of my greatest road side scores was a solid cherry kitchen table. ( I'm a kitchen guy). Windows, the doors,kitchen cabiniats ( very nice I might add) a 12 foot peach tree sliding glass door,I could write pages.  Oh one more story. I was on my way to Walmart to buy a cheep set of ramps, the kind you drive your vehicle up on to work underneath it. On my way there, there on the side of the road, was a near new set. And not the cheap ones......larry. Still cost me $15. I decided to celebrate my find with chicken wings and a beer, but, I did save some gas money, so......
 
Dale Hodgins
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I have found it useful to advertise, in search of free stuff. I do this whenever I need brick or rock. People with an unwanted pile of this are often keen to give it away.

It's important to have an empty truck. Driving around with a whole bunch of junk you don't need, consumes a lot of gas. More importantly, if your truck is needlessly full, you won't be able to stop and grab that perfect kitchen table and chairs on the side of the road.

If you're always ready to act, you are likely to score more stuff. There is a young man in my telephone list who I have called "scrounge James Fox. He always has an empty trailer close at hand and he has a job that he can abandon, if some freebies come up. I generally give away all of the 2x4 lumber under 7 feet long and there are many other free things. James is also on my list for end of job clean up. I get him to come at the end of demolition jobs, point out a wide array of items and charge him $50 for as much as he can load onto his vehicle. He has produced some really inexpensive cabins.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I started a new house today and got 59 different items for the kitchen. Everything from olive oil to 35 different spices, and baking supplies, including dark chocolate. This stash has to be worth at least $300 retail. There are six different alcoholic drinks, which will go to my friend. One has rhubarb in it.

The house will also produce some lumber, granite slabs and other stuff that you'd expect to get from a house that's being torn down. It's not often that the contents of the cupboard come with the deal. It's a very clean, Oceanfront house worth millions, so I assume that they have good taste in food and spices. Nothing seems to be expired. It's only been vacant a short time.
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A very unusual door stop. There's maple, walnut and purple heart
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've developed a whole new means of getting free stuff !!!

My brother Brady, frequents flop houses and homeless shelters, although he doesn't actually stay in those places. They always have lots of really good stuff to give away, particularly women's stuff, since there seem to be many more homeless men,  but they get donations for both sexes. This stuff gets gathered up and then it's quickly abandoned in Parks or on the side of the road or right at the place where they got it. He gathers it up and brings a lot of it to me. I've already got enough high-quality shoes and boots to do me for the next decade. My cheapest ones are Clarks and the best ones are Rockport. Very close to new.

I have adopted the entire family of my fiance in the Philippines. They grew up in poverty and none of them have finished school, so I am renting a big place for everybody and they will quit the jobs that pay $100 a month, and go to school full-time. There are four girls including the mother and one brother. They won't be so quick to toss this stuff aside, because it's better stuff than they've ever had before. When I went there a few months ago, I brought some really high-quality Keen leather shoes for her brother. He wears them every day and cleans them with an old toothbrush. I paid $5 for them and now they seem to be his most valuable possession. So, when I return there in June, I will bring the maximum baggage allowed, and most of it will be shoes and tools.

I had some really nice shoes from the San Antonio shoe company, that had some damage to the leather and a delaminating problem. Here in Canada, it wasn't economic to have them fixed. She found someone there who did a really good repair, for the equivalent of $4. So I'm going to seek out other high-end footwear that can be obtained very cheaply or free and I'll have it repaired in the Philippines. I won't return the stuff to Canada where there's already too much stuff on the used market. I will mostly give it to people that I know there and to people that I hire.

I've been the king of free stuff among the people I know, for many years. But in the relatively wealthy place where I live, I don't always have someone in mind for all of the things that I acquire. From now on I will just save it up and then send it off to the In-laws for distribution.

Today's haul includes a brand new pair of Skechers shoes, women's size 7, some nice wool socks, an alpaca sweater made in Bolivia that is in need of some repair and an electrical adapter for hooking a trailer to a Truck.
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Dale Hodgins
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My brother came upon this yesterday and he called me. It is a commercial cooker, probably for soup or pastries. It had a steam line that heats the food without burning it. It holds about 15 gallons of liquid. When you want to pour it out you turn the crank and it moves very smoothly. I may never use the steam heating function, but I'm going to use this for something, probably soap making. But if I have 200 people over for soup, it may be used for that. It's unfortunate that it's here in Canada. I could really use this thing in the Philippines, where all of the ingredients for soap making are so much cheaper and labor is $7 a day. But I'll figure something out.
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Dale: OOOOH!!! I want one! I just looked it up though  25 Gal Steam Kettle  and oh my goodness: Price: $10,051.00
Excellent score! I'd use it for canning etc, personally.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Dale: OOOOH!!! I want one! I just looked it up though  25 Gal Steam Kettle  and oh my goodness: Price: $10,051.00
Excellent score! I'd use it for canning etc, personally.



I am already pursuing a deal with a local commercial cookware supplier. This stuff sometimes goes out as stainless steel scrap. About 25 cents a pound. These dealers exist in every city. Take my pictures down there and tell them you're looking for something obsolete. If you're unsuccessful, leave a message here because I seriously doubt that this will be my last one. You might also want to advertise that you are looking for something like this. Don't wait for it to get to the scrap dealer. When they see you drooling the price goes up.
 
and POOF! You're gone! But look, this tiny ad is still here:
Taylor&Zach’s Bootcamp Journey
https://permies.com/t/115886/permaculture-projects/Taylor-Zach-Bootcamp-Journey
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