small gloat at Big Lots

As a forward, let me explain that my "workshop" resides in my driveway and gets put back into my garage at the end of each work session. My "workbench" consists of a 4'X4' sheet of particle board supported by two saw horses with chunks of scrap lumber clamped down as "bench dogs".
Yesterday I was at a store we have in SoCal called Big Lots (formerly Pic-N-Save), a close out store dealing in all manner of weird household items from soap to soup. Their "tool" department consists of mostly of cheap Chinese-made knock offs. I considered their 2 for $5 bar clamps but decided they were just too frustrating to work easily when my glue is setting fast. But I did pick up a replica of the WorkMate, a folding saw horse with a pair of MDF boards mounted on screw vises and two pair of plastic bench dogs that fit in the assorted holes. It cost me all of $15.99 plus tax. Assembly took 30 minutes and one beer (probably less if I hadn't been watching the X Games on ESPN).
Real woodworkers (i.e., most readers of the Wreck) probably have no need for such a toy. But for any SoCal newbies, rush to your nearest Big Lots and lay down your $17.
Ian
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Sun, Aug 8, 2004, 2:18pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Ian Dodd) <snip> a close out store dealing in all manner of weird household itemsfrom soap to soup.
Well, obviously. That's because it's in California. The ones out here, have normal items. Their "tool" department consists of mostly of cheap Chinese-made knock offs.
Not necessarily. You just have to look a bit.
I considered their 2 for $5 bar clamps but decided they were just too frustrating to work easily when my glue is setting fast. <snip>
If they're like the one I got there, you passed up a great deal. Their metal quick clamps are great too - but only have 6" capacity.
JOAT Jesus was a Ford man, that's why he walked everywhere.
GREEN ONIONS http://www.bluesbrotherscentral.com/download.php?d_id=12/green.mid
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J sadly

I sadly admit I own several of the big lot Bar clamps, they looked like a good by at the time, they are complete crap, after a few uses they slip under any pressure, and the bar is so light that it bends and twists, save your money and wait until HF puts there's on sale again, on another note my big lots drill press works like a champ (little underpowered, but hay at least my wife's hart was in the right place and got me something useful instead of getting me another ugly shirt). Big Lots power tools are just as good as HF cheep tools but less money.
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I found the best thing in the Big Lots tool dept are the C-clamps Kinda hard to get C-clamps wrong. Joe in Ohio

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Heh... I once did buy one, made in china painted red, of drop forged aluminum, and yes the frame did snap! POP! I can see the metal is this cheap bubbly (millions of micro air pockets) aluminum. I want to frame the damn thing with "China" showing just to remind myself... "never again!" for some things.
Alex
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Neglecting to look at the writing on a tool bought me a Chinese Slip Lock, not whipped aluminum, that snapped at first attempt to use it.
wrote:

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wrote:

I've seen cheesy C-clamps fail in two ways, the threaded rod stripping and the frame shattering under load.
Barry
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wrote:

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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I'll add a fourth: The threaded rod forces its way through the stamped sheetmetal foot and gouges your project. I got several of these cheep chineese c clamps a few years ago - now they live in the welding bag. Now I can weld close to a clamp (if I need to) and not worry about splatter ruining a decent clamp.

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wrote:

If it says "Made in China" pass it up. "Made in the USA" is 10X better.
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I musta got lucky then...no bent or broken frames or stripped threads....yet. Knock wood (pun intended) Joe

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