Uzbek knives

uzbek_knivesMy favourite is all-purpose classic Uzbek type. Light, well-balanced, easy to sharpen, handles well enough to do anything, from slicing your enemy’s throat to peeling carrots to taking coating off electric wires.

uzbek_knifeA dealer with a good collection and extensive knowledge of the subject is Olga Lapshina at the Vernissage market in Izmailovo, tel. +7 916 603 0653. Not far from the main entrance, the raw to your right.

BUT DON’T BUY RUSSIAN KNIVES FROM HER, OR ANYWHERE ELSE TO THAT MATTER. NOT THOSE FROM NIZHNY NOVGOROD FOR SURE. THEY TEND TO BE OVERTEMPERED AND MAY CRACK WHEN DROPPED.

Cast iron pans

Available sporadically all over, from garbage dumpsters to hardware stores. Look in smaller stores located by or in country markets where old farts like me tend to do their shopping. Don’t buy Chinese, they stick, and wooden handle are made with ergonomics that would suit a space alien but not your average human hand. These handles also tend to fall off. Dictator Lukashenko may not be the nicest guy but he keep his country away from Tephlon, and simple old-fashioned iron pans are still cast out in Belarus,  and sent east to Russia to satisfy time warp inhabitants and kitchen snobs. Saw them at Novopodrezkovo (see previous posts) on Sunday, at Preobrazhensky market (a lot on it here), and even at expensive Danilovsky.

NO. MADE OF PSEUDO-IRON. HANDLES ARE UNCOMFORTABLE AND UNRELIABLE.

 

Inverters, solar panels, generators, electric and gas welding equipment

Vladimir, 8 903 574 8277, 8 495 424 4465, vladimirkrivbk@rambler.ru

Vladimir sells inverters, solar panels, UPS units, generators,welding equipment, laboratory glassware, high-temperature ovens for melting steel in the kitchen and lots of other goodies, new and used, at flea markets (presently at Novopodrezkovo) at prices that are significantly below those in real or even online stores. He seems to know his stuff real well. This entry is based on my impressions from a long chat with him but soon I will probably be buying something or other from Vladimir. A gas welding set and a portable generator are on my Wanted list..

Welding equipment

Dima (the one who took over my Dacha & Horses project) asked  me to review the welding equipment scene and get something suitable for his needs. His request resonated with my own fascination with fire, power over metal, and other archetypal imagery, and now this “check what you can buy for under 12 th. roubles) have turned into a full scale research project.

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Speaking of toys

Moscow’s main toy market is Savelosvky (Metro Savelovskaya). Haunted by the question of where are Russian made toys I’ve inspected numerous toy kiosks today while waiting for my computer’s screen to be replaced. None. All China. The Koptevo Toy Factory in Moscow remains the only source I know of but they make board games and puzzles, not old-fashioned metal things. None of Soviet era mechanical sets, airplane models with rubber band or even tiny internal combustion engines, make-yourself electric motors, true-to-life copies of construction equipment and other toys that teach skills and core principles of mechanics and physics. I’m disappointed with what Savelovsky, probably the biggest toy market in Moscow, has to offer.

Bicycle shopping in Moscow

There is a cluster of bike and scooter sellers, from street vendors to large stores, right by Metro Sokolniki. But go there only if you know you know your stuff. For reliable middle-of-the road bike I’d recommend one of several French-run Decathlon stores. They sell spectacular scrap too of course but they make no serious attempt to present it as something else. 

The owner of www.velotransunion.ru runs a bike shop somewhere in the east end. You may want to talk to him. In previous years he was selling “value” bikes.

Free advice advice and assistance to those wanting to get a bike. It is subject to my availability but I’m pretty close to the Sokolniki cluster of shops and to one of the Decathlon stores.

Portable welding machines

Plazer Welding Equipment. Made in Rostov-on-Don. Moscow outlet: Altuf’yevskoye shosse 33Б, (499) 545 3771. Recommended by a professional and highly skilled welder and carriage maker. Mustang 200 for 7000 roubles ($230) has been pointed out at the model that’s particularly suitable for rural and field conditions where  low-quality electric supply is a particular issue.

Sponge mop happiness

Only the crappiest sponge mop imitations with average life expectancy of 1-2 months are shipped here, usually from China. For twice the price you can buy overdesigned French or Italian crap that may even last for three. If you’ve been in Moscow long enough to make washing floors an issue you will understand what joy it was to find a real American sponge mop.

It is in an old-fashioned hardware store on Zvezdny Boulevard, south side, 400ft from Prospekt Mira, Metro VDNKh or Alexeyevskaya. About six types of Libman mops costing in the 700-1100 rouble range.