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Old 07-25-2016, 10:18 PM   #1
stripperguy
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More than a hobby?

I don't know, it started out as a way to get a vehicle for a bargain...but somehow it's turned into something else entirely!

I've always liked Jeeps, been driving one since '86 or '87.
I stumbled on a TJ that was an insurance wreck. Needed a front axle, some steering components and a fender.



Drove it for 2 years, sold it in 2 days for a tidy profit.



Then I found another wrecked Jeep, an LJ, or Unlimited TJ.
This one needed a front axle (surprise!), some steering components, a bumper, a front driveshaft...



4 years so far, and it's still worth twice as much as I have invested in it!

Along the way was this one, fixed and retitled (it was a really nice one!), sold in 2 days for an obscene profit.



While I was inspecting the LJ to bid on it, I stumbled on a wrecked Kawasaki 900...you have to look carefully, damage is nearly non existent.



Rode it for a year or so, until I stumbled upon this wrecked Triumph Bonneville. Once I had the Bonnie, I sold the Kawi for a nice profit.
I'm still riding the Bonnie, it's definitely a keeper. Oh, and it's worth roughly 3 times my investment in it.



Then I picked up this Harley, a soft tail heritage classic, it outweighs me by 650 lbs!!

Here's the before and afters









The Harley will be inspected and retitled in a week or so, it's a very lengthy process, just like all of the others. Someone will get a nice bike, and I will make a small profit (a miscalculation on my part).

And then my son found this wrecked Moto Guzzi, we zipped down to Virginia to pick it up. Damage was limited to the ignition switch! 203 miles on it!!

Here's the two of us heading out for a ride, him on his 2015 V7 Stone Classic, me on my Bonnie. That Guzzi is like a piece of motorized art.
Oh, and he paid 25% of what it is worth.



Which brings me to this month's project...MDB thought she might like this 2011 Volvo S80. Maybe she'll keep it, maybe we'll sell it, dunno yet.



It looks bad, doesn't it? But it's all bolt on parts and paint.
So, you see what's happened...I just can't help myself!

Anyone else have a "hobby" that turned into something entirely different?
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:15 AM   #2
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Pretty nice Mike!! Love the Jeeps. I miss our Wrangler but the commute to/from Albany makes it impractical, fuel-wise.

I have 10 thumbs so this mechanical reconstruction work is way beyond my capabilities!!
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:30 PM   #3
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Pretty nice Mike!! Love the Jeeps. I miss our Wrangler but the commute to/from Albany makes it impractical, fuel-wise.

I have 10 thumbs so this mechanical reconstruction work is way beyond my capabilities!!
I've been slowly finishing my 1977 CJ5...rebuilt the engine 20 years ago, now has 35" tires, heavily modified suspension and drivetrain. Only need to make a new rear driveshaft, and make some new shock mounts!

As soon as the latest vehicles are finished, I have a 19 ft sailboat that needs paint and a new interior...If MDB and I like that sort of sailing (it sleeps 4), I'll sell it to buy something bigger. If not, I'll just sell it for profit.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:53 PM   #4
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Stripperguy, I'm impressed with anyone who can successfully take on the sort of projects you have! I am definitely not capable of that sort of thing.

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Anyone else have a "hobby" that turned into something entirely different?
In answer to your above question, in my case it is doing taxidermy. I started learning how to do it as a hobby when I was 11 years old. Thankfully, my parents were very supportive, as I did it on a table in my bedroom and put critters in the same freezer they used for garden produce, etc.
I got my first state license when I was 16. When I look at pics of the work I did back then, I can't believe people actually paid me for it!
There have been various times in my life since my teen years that I tabled doing it, but it had "gotten into my blood" and no matter what I did for employment or where I lived, I always found a way to get back into it, even if on a limited basis.
For the past 15 years, it has served as a "half time" source of income, and has worked out well with my job of driving a school bus. Most school days I have 4-5 hours between bus runs, which I use to work in my shop. It's not a lucrative lifestyle, but it's sufficient.
When I first started doing taxidermy, I had no idea that it would eventually become a "hobby" that I get paid to do. I use it as an example when I encourage students that "once you determine what it is that you really enjoy doing, then figure out a way to make money doing it". For me, doing taxidermy certainly beats pushing papers on a desk for some corporation!

If you'd like to see pics of some of my work, feel free to check out my shop's facebook page: The Rack Shack Taxidermy Shop
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:41 PM   #5
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Stirpperguy Inc.
You name it, he can do it!

Just don't ask him to dance or play basketball.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:39 PM   #6
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Stirpperguy Inc.
You name it, he can do it!

Just don't ask him to dance or play basketball.
Uhmmmm...actually, MDB and I went for swing dance lessons quite a few years ago. As it turned out, I could dance, but the instructor said that MDB was backleading!!

But for sure, I can't play basketball.
Oh, and I suck at masonry work and I'm too little to do roofing!


And Tim, that's almost the exact same thing I tell younger folks--find out what you really enjoy and find a way to cash in on it! It's so much easier to get up in the morning when you like what you do!
It's cool that you stumbled on the taxidermy thing, even better that it can be a nice supplement.
How in the world did you get interested in that when you were 11 years old?
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:50 PM   #7
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My (very small) musical instrument business started out as a hobby, but always with an eye toward establishing a reputation so I could do more with it. I had the idea when I was 14 or so and my sister bought a harp from a small company and I thought "maybe I could learn to make those". I started out in 2003 when I was 17, making mountain dulcimers, then harps and hammered dulcimers and then mandolins, banjos, fiddles, guitars and such. Along the way there were some business detours since I didn't have enough instrument work to stay busy. From 2006 to 2008 or so I made twig furniture, which I sold at local craft shows and on Craigslist. It was good money for a while but I saturated the local market and didn't have time to travel further afield, and the benches and chairs were too big to ship. Then in the spring of 2009 I bought a little 1941 Allis Chalmers C tractor and got it running to use in the woods where we were thinning a pine plantation and the farm's tractor was not quite as maneuverable as would have been handy. In the late fall I traded it to a fellow from Long Island for a 1949 Farmall H which was a bit bigger but still handy with the narrow front end. I needed some better rear tires for that tractor, so I bought another one about 15 miles from home that a tree had fallen on, so it was in bad shape up top. I paid $300 for it and was concerned that I might have paid too much since the tires were old and cracked, but those tires are still at work, though now they are on a 1955 Farmall 300 that I bought in 2012 to replace the H since it some more modern features on the same basic platform. By the time I sold all of the salvageable parts off that first parts tractor it added up to about $1800, and I began buying other damaged tractors to part out. I also learned a lot from tearing that tractor down completely about how to fix mine and how they work internally. Over the next 3 years I bought about 15 or so to part out and a few to repair and sell, though I never made much on the ones I sold whole. By mid-2013 the market for the tractor parts seemed to be slowing down and I was getting busier with banjos and banjo parts, so I decided to stop buying parts tractors and just try to sell off my remaining inventory. This spring I packed the leftover parts on 6 pallets and sold them at the local equipment consignment auction and officially retired from the tractor parts business. Building instruments and parts in the shop is much more satisfying, but the tractor work was educational and the money was very helpful.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:35 AM   #8
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How in the world did you get interested in that when you were 11 years old?
A fellow classmate was taking a correspondence course on taxidermy and he would come to school on Mondays talking about what he worked on over the weekend. It sparked my interest so I ordered the same course, and I caught the bug. We lived in the country in western NY, so obtaining specimens to work on wasn't too difficult.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:26 PM   #9
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Anyone else have a "hobby" that turned into something entirely different?
I was recently contacted by The Discovery Channel regarding My Youtube Channel, and they want to start filming a new television series with Jenny & I begining this fall.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:51 PM   #10
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I was recently contacted by The Discovery Channel regarding My Youtube Channel, and they want to start filming a new television series with Jenny & I begining this fall.
Nice try Justin ... we all know that they just want Jenny ... she's the REAL star!
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:33 PM   #11
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Nice try Justin ... we all know that they just want Jenny ... she's the REAL star!
Always a camera hog...

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Old 07-28-2016, 01:43 PM   #12
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What do you say when people ask if you're making good money at your hobby? At first I wasn't sure what the best response might be but now when people ask I often say "it's better than knocking over convenience stores".
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:54 PM   #13
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I always say that I have a really great part-time job, which I do!
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:18 PM   #14
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What do you say when people ask if you're making good money at your hobby? At first I wasn't sure what the best response might be but now when people ask I often say "it's better than knocking over convenience stores".
Zach
I recently asked the owner of a local convenience store, "How's business?"
He responded, "Not as good as if I was an illegal, but I'm getting by."
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:41 AM   #15
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Striperguy: Wrangler's sure hold their value. I have an '06 Unlimited and took a deer head on with it in 2014. $8K in damage. At first they wanted to total it. I begged them not to and once they appraised it they backed off. I'm really interested in the Jeep trucks that are supposed to come out late next year. Especially the three cylinder diesel. Anyway, Michael's Service Center in Hudson Falls has an old CJ from the 80s for sale for parts if you are interested.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:04 PM   #16
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Saw this sweet looking 'Soft Tail' at the end of someone's driveway on my way to & from Cannaford today...

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Old 08-20-2016, 05:12 PM   #17
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Justin,
you could have stopped in for a test ride...
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:20 PM   #18
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Justin,
you could have stopped in for a test ride...
Thanks Mike!
"Cannaford" ....as in I was with my girlfriend along with a car full of groceries, and she said I can't afford it anyway!

But with your consent, I could also post the photo to Facebook for some more views to local Harley loving friends & family...?

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Old 08-20-2016, 07:04 PM   #19
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Sure...It's an '04 Soft Tail Heritage Classic with an 88 cu in, fuel injection engine, 5 speed tranny and belt drive. Oh, and it outweighs me by over 600 lbs!!
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:24 PM   #20
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