OT: Harbor Freight - I saw, I sauntered, I smiled!

Finally walked inside my first HF storefront! The place was packed over lunch hour with all sorts: mechanics with Mr. Goodwrench shirts; Grandma loading up on tarps; Contractors; Business folk (polo shirt, khaki's and a badge), etc.
Everyone was extremely friendly. This stood out because I moved from a Friendly State to a not-so-friendly State and really was taken aback by the workers! I overheard several returns, one fellow returned a cement mixer - all gladly accepted. I overheard support calls on the phone - all patiently explained.
I found a couple of $0.99 bicycle brackets, some $1.70 spring clamps, some decent $3.00 casters, and an anti-fatigue floor mat for $9.00. All impulse buys. Looked at the $29 Dovetail machine, but decided to save my $$ for a Leigh/Akeda/Omnijig.
Was very nice to be able to see/touch the Central Machinery and Chicago Electric brand stuff although I didn't buy any power tools. Sometimes pretty obvious to see where corners were cut in China.
It was fun. Friendly and fun. Not someplace I'll frequent (like Woodcraft or Rockler) but maybe every few months or so. Just amazed at how busy the place was!
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Around here the participants are a bit different ... the women look pissy, like they were forced to quit watching Jerry Springer to make the trip, and the men look like they just came from pawning the tires off the single-wide after a hard night in the joints.
... course, I fit right in.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/28/03
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They have their niche. I'm not looking for any new power tools, but I would take a second look at anything with a power cord, unless I only planned to use it a time or two. On the other hand, I frequently buy "throw away" items there. For example:
-- plastic tarps -- just don't expect them to last forever, but at that price who cares
-- pneumatic tires for a hand truck -- no need to fix that old one that won't hold air
-- nitrile gloves -- so cheap in the 100 count packages that you won't take the time to turn them inside out and save them (frequently on sale at half price) -- I find myself protecting my hands from solvents and cleaning fluids now that I have a box or two on hand
-- glue brushes (acid brushes) and cheap varnish brushes -- doesn't justify the cost of solvent or time to clean them -- great for that one time application
-- chisel sets -- they make pretty good scrapers after they have been sharpened properly -- good for scraping gum labels, paint, and anything else from any surface which won't suffer if scratched a little -- works better than that sharpened putty knife you have been using -- keep a set to loan out to that neighbor who probably won't return them anyway
-- throw away 40 tooth carbide saw blades -- get one or two when they are on sale for cutting up that piece of plywood you used for forms to pour concrete -- these are really cheap and the cut is not as bad as you might think, but just to be safe, stand aside the first time you power it up
-- air hoses and connectors -- for infrequent use they work fine -- I just got a set for an old portable compressor so I don't have to move my good hose from the shop to the garage
-- clamps -- their 4" C-clamps are dirt cheap and not all that bad for occasional use -- these are almost always on sale for half price
-- calipers, micrometers, and dial indicators -- OK, if it is off by .001 I can live with that -- they are actually pretty good for their reasonable price -- I bought a dial indicator for practically nothing and it works as well as my good one
--
Ken Vaughn
Visit My Workshop: http://home.earthlink.net/~kvaughn65 /
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LOML and I went into the one in San Bernardino. We wanted to look at the cheapo pneumatic staplers/brad nailers that some folks here tout. Maggy got a bit sidetracked and we ended up with a large bagfull of craft stuff for $25. Not bad. I ended up with a box of cheap paint brushes and a couple other items that lept out at me, shrieking "buy me, buy me". Almost forgot the nailers in our frenzy. They look pretty good for the price. Didn't buy one yet. Need to check the PC store for refurbs.     mahalo,     jo4hn
tnfkajs wrote:

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tnfkajs wrote:

What if you can get that DT jig for $19?
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a
You're willing to sell me a Leigh or Akeda or PC Ominjig for nineteen bux?
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some
impulse
a
How might someone accomplish this? I am looking to try some DT's
Digger
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Leigh/Akeda/Omnijig. that must be one hell of a jig. i hope they used the best parts of each.
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