Originally Posted by Born_Old
So I'm second guessing myself, and I wanted to hear from the more experienced. To the DIY crowd, are there items you would not try to make yourself? Is DIY cost effective to the weekender? I'm always going to make my own amsteel byproducts, but wonder where the line is for other people between waiting and buying vs. materials and DIY.
Being "cost effective to the weekender" is pretty subjective when it comes to DIY gear. Compared to what? If you count your time towards the project, then no, it won't be as "cost effective" compared to what it can be produced for by one of the cottage industries here on HF. They're able to take advantage of quantity discounts, wholesale prices, having patterns, the experience of having made multiple copies of an item, having a space set up for production, etc. They work a long time prototyping and making patterns so the next one will be easier, faster, better. They all started as DIYers at some point, then turned it into a business.
Most DIYers aren't interested in making money, just saving some. If you're just comparing cost of material you buy vs. finished product shipped to your door, then yes, you can save some money. It will take longer, but you can make some really nice gear yourself. Will it be as good as what you can buy? Maybe yes, maybe not, depending on what you're comparing it to, your skills, and tools.
If you have to buy a sewing machine and material, and only plan to make one item, then you might be better off purchasing a finished product. I already had all the necessities for sewing, so making my own gear was simply a matter of having the raw materials and a plan. I'm outfitting a family of five, so DIYing our gear is pretty important to make our gear dollars go as far as possible.
As far as things I wouldn't attempt....for me, can't think of anything, but I have a lot of experience doing a lot of different things. It's purely a matter of having the tools to do it. If I had a CNC waterjet (like Dutch), I'd make my own Dutch Clips. (The first Dutch Clip was made with a drill press, hacksaw, and file.) In this case I don't have the $xxx,xxx for a cnc, so $12 is a great deal. With down UQs, $240 for a HG Incubator was the cost of material to make two for me and the lovely wife who also hangs. Money saved. It all depends on what you are willing to tackle. It took me a while to wrap my mind around working with down. It's not too big a deal, now that I've done it.
For me, many times I want something with features that aren't available. Then you really have to DIY it. It's part of the fun.