It really depends on the area. There's one parsonage that was 2 blocks
from downtown in a little boring town that had to have a dusk to dawn
light installed because of people messing with the pastor's property.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
You might find <http://calgary.rasc.ca/lp/crime.html to be of
interest. There are links and references to several studies.
Please note though that the axe they are grinding is "light pollution"
so take it with a large dose of salt.
No idea about stats, but I'm talking about country, not town. I could
put dusk to dawns on my shop, but all it does is throw light into my
bedroom window during winter when the trees are bare. When the trees
aren't bare, I can't see the shop without going down to the basement
and out. So, no point.
My $.02- a guy that doesn't understand why you might not want to loan
your tools to him isn't a guy that should be allowed to use them.
Those kind of people, I don't worry about pissing off.
There are cases where a guy has already got a shop full of tools, and
knows how to take care of them. Everyone finds they need some widget
they don't happen to have from time to time, and in those cases, I'm
happy to lend a tool- but not if they don't have and maintain their
own shop. I'm not a free rental outfit for weekend warriors!
I'm moving to a new (old) house and plan on making my garage the
workroom. Where I live now I only have 1 neighbor. He has more tools
then me, but he did borrow my tile saw. Returned it the following week
(as he said) in better condition then when it left.
Anyway, my new house will be in a regular neighborhood, so I think I'll
start off by putting a friendly wood sign next to the door to the
workroom. "Borrow my wife, borrow my kids, but not the tools or the
Swingman, I didn't know you could get a wife at Harbor Freight. Gotta
go home and look at that catalogue again.
I dunno, guys. Every time a neighbor comes by to borrow a tool, I give
them careful instructions on how to use it. "Now george, you might
think you know how to use an electric drill, but check this out. It's
reversible. And look a the speed control and how it works. And you can
set the torque so it won't strip threads. If you run the battery down
it'll stop working, and you'll have to bring it back. There are more
ways for a person to hurt themselves with a drill than you might know
about. Do you have any questions? I'll be glad to answer them. If you
do hurt yourself you're on your own. Please wash off all blood, grease,
"It's a Porter-Cable drill, and I paid $220. for it. It's a high-end
brand, and I know you'll be careful with it, but you know if it's
broken I'll expect you to replace it. How long will you need it? Two
days? I hate to have my tools gone such a long time. I'll be needing it
tomorrow, can you get back by then? If not I'll have to come looking
for it, and I hate to do that.
Hey, by the way, guy, I've been looking at the motorboat in your
driveway. We were thinking about going up to Carter Lake. Care if I
borrow it for the weekend?
You've got to check it out. It's a pretty good deal. The quality of the
wives they sell is kind of hit and miss (as it is with everything they
sell). The best part is the liberal returns policy. No questions asked.
Just take her to the register ( even if she is obviously well used),
and get a full refund!
Thanks everyone for all the ideas, thoughts, and suggestions. They are
great and I've learned from them in how I will handle this in the future.
There truly is a fine line between helping someone out in a pinch and being
taken advantage of. I think I might be more upset by this than I should
be, but dang it, he works at Home Depot and gets an employee discount. I
didn't get a discount when I bought these tools. He and his wife both
work. My wife works and I'm just starting out in the woodworking
business, so I'm not making a whole lot yet. He can better afford tools
than I can, yet he comes to get mine. He just had a new patio concreted
and hot tub put in, bought his and hers Harley's, already has 2 -250 gallon
saltwater fish tanks, got a new 52" widescreen tv, and bought a new SUV
last summer for a trip to Myrtle Beach. I guess he needs to save money so
he borrows my tools instead of getting his own. But yet, if he would have
just brought things back when he said he would, I probably would still let
After reading a lot of personal experiences and opinions, I plan on telling
him the loaning has to end. My business now is woodworking and my sole
basis of income, not just a hobby and I need every tool to do it, even my
ladder. I wouldn't go to his job at Home Depot and take his pens,
clipboard, phone, desk, or chair. If he gets mad, well he won't be the
first person I've pissed off. My biggest problem with that is I spent 9
yrs at my old house pissed off at my next door neighbor and that can be
I now have gotten back all my tools except for the extension cord. Since
my original post, it's still strung across his backyard with one freezing
rain and two snows on it. I've bought a new one (I had forgotten how
expensive they are) and plan to tell him to just keep it as it probably
didn't weather to well. I told the lady at the local hardware store why I
was buying a new cord and she said "Well, I wouldn't let that sucker borrow
anything of mine again."
I've come to finally put 2 and 2 together and realize he did know what he
was doing when he scouted my tools and them came to borrow. He buttered
me up with all the "you're a good neighbor" talk on the first time we ever
met. Maybe he saw me moving all my tools in and he was going to make a
good neighbor out of me. I can understand if a project takes longer
than expected and he needs it for a while longer, but he should have asked
if he could keep it longer or brought it back and ask if he could borrow it
again tomorrow. I truly don't think he has a hidden agenda, but he
is being disresctful to me and that surely doesn't make me want to let him
have more tools.
I would figure that since he has lived at his house for at least 5 yrs. that
he would already have some of these tools, especially the ladder and
extention cord. I think it's time I suggest he use his Home Depot
employee discount. I've seen that he doesn't take care of his own
property very well as his nice riding mower sat out in the rain all spring
and into the summer. He came over and borrowed my jumper cables when the
mower wouldn't start and jumped the battery with his car battery. He
blew it up and destroyed the mower, but did bring my jumper cables right
His kids asked me yesterday if they could borrow my snow shovel, I said "no"
so they went in and got their own. I think Daddy is teaching them how to
borrow from neighbors. I also think Daddy already owns a lot of what he
comes to borrow.
I heard this phrase a few years ago "No one can take advantage of you unless
you let them." I just quit letting him.
Thanks to all,
That's all the reason you need to say 'no.' Back when every corner gasoline
station was a *service* station, a lot of mechanics had signs up on their
toolboxes that said "I make my living with my Snap-On Tools. Please don't ask
to borrow them."
There ya go. That's all it takes.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I think we've all made this same mistake. When I was younger, I lent
out some tools to a neighbor. The guy had the balls to even put them on
his pegboard. When I asked for them back, he said, "Oh come on, you
don't really need these, do you?"
LOL. His plan was to hope I forgot about them, and STEAL them.
Now I just tell them, "sorry, but I'm going to need them soon".. If
they need clamps to make a repair or something cut, I invite them to
bring their repair over and do it in my shop (under my watch, or I do
it for them).. But I don't lend out anything that I want back.
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