When I was 13, back in the 1950s, and first licensed, I had zero money. If I found an old TV or radio in someone's trash can, I would take it home, unsolder the parts, and use them to build rigs. What I ended up with was rigs built from schematics that looked awful. Sometimes I did not even have a chassis, so the tubes laid on their side, and the "condensers" and resistors strung from one pin to the other out in the open. Later in high school, when I got a bit of money, I would buy military surplus, such as an Arc-5 and those made a decent receiver. Then, with more money, I got some low end used gear from Henry Radio in Los Angeles. By the time I was 18, my garage hamshack looked like a Phyllis Diller fright wig.
Now the antennas were not much better. I built a Coke can ground plane, and home made quads supported by 2 by 4 masts and fed by military surplus coax. I wish I had pictures of this, but I did not have a camera back then. But it was all FUN. Probably more fun than the new KX3 I just bought last month which looks nice, and neat, and small, and works like a champ.