On 24 Oct 2004 03:24:59 -0700, "Man In The Doorway"
Buying expensive <whatever> has nothing to do with woodworking
per se. It's a separate issue altogether, one that cuts across
almost all hobbies/sports in the US (and probably other countries
Is there a difference? You bet. Craftsman and B&D are a whole lot
more expensive! I started in on a big project calling for 14 sheets
of baltic bich plywood. After about 4 sheets my trusty 3 year old B&D
sander, for which I had paid the princely sum of about $25, gave up
the ghost. Ran down to the local tool peddler and bought another one.
Hmm, price had gone up to $30. After 7 or 8 more sheets this one
began to smell like roasting coffee beans (good if it's coffee, bad if
it's an electric motor) and quit. Back down to the tool peddler where
the kind salesman took pity on me: "Kid, do yourself a favor. Plunk
down the money for this Makita while it's on sale. I'll even knock
another 10% off because I feel sorry for you. Guaranteed, I won't be
seeing you back here again." Well, he was wrong. He has seen me back
there plenty, but never for another sander! All told, the Makita cost
me about $135 ($80 on sale plus $25 and $30 for the two dead B&Ds)
plus untold hours of frustration and self-damnation for being a
cheapskate. Buying decent tools is kind of like getting a
vaccination: it stings a little at first but saves a lot of pain
There's some realistically good advice. I appreciate that. In my adult ed. class
two very old Milwaukee hand drills with metal cases (outer body shells) still working,
and an old Skil drill still working, and a burned out, quite non-working Black and
My Old Skil drill is about 12 years old, in perfect condition but it hasn't been used
Yea, I know it's a troll, but it made me think, and gave me a wish to vent.
No. Dad was an alcoholic narcissist and didn't care about anybody else. As
far as I'm concerned he didn't even exist. When I heard he had died, I
looked around and the world was just the same. He did teach me, by example,
how NOT to treat other people.
No. Everybody I know already thinks I'm a dork.
Wrong again, I'm a self taught software and electronic engineer. I spent 30
years designing, building, programming and running all kinds of computer
hardware. I decided to teach myself woodworking after watching Norm for a
I disagree. I started woodworking using cheap tools and despite that I stuck
with it. Cheap tools are harder to use, harder to keep tuned, and harder to
get consistant results with. I find that using high caliber, high quality
tools makes working with wood more satisfying and less frustrating. So I
save my pennies and get the best.
The only tool I bought that I've never used is a dowling jig. Everything
else is used. I wore out two routers
I never published pictures or bragged about what tools I bought. To many
know-it-all wise-ass critics out there. I researched and bought the tools I
wanted to buy, and really appreciated the ones I received as gifts. Nobody
ever asked for an inventory (except for my insurance agent). Sure I might
own some of the best tools money can buy, but it was my money, I earned it
and I use the heck out of all of them. They are not trophies, they are
You may not care, but the folks I give homemade items to sure seem to
appreciate them. Nobody has ever given back or otherwise disposed of an
item we made them that we know of. If I ever made anything that was useless,
it was for the enjoyment of making it.
Your missing another point. We don't build the exact same desk, futon, etc
as they have in the stores. We either build them better, with better
construction or better materials, or build them to meet our personal needs
exactly. All the furniture I built for this house was built to meet MY
needs. There are a lot of store bought items here too.
I have a friend that was low on cash but wanted a new desk for her then
boyfriend. She shopped and found she couldn't afford anything. We offered
and built a 4 drawer desk from #2 pine and luan plywood and other leftovers.
It took us two days for under $25. Five years later he's still using it. It
was a fun project. Very entertaining. Another couple wanted a toybox. They
worked in the shop with us to build and decorate it. Their kids appreciate
it more than a store-bought box. Another young neighbor wanted a dresser,
asked me to build him one. I offered to help him build his own. He accepted,
and he and his dad used my shop to build exactly what he wanted. We all
enjoyed that project.
In fact, there isn't a house on this block in which we haven't contributed
some kind of woodworking.
A lot of time I'll take on a project to build something because I want to
see if I can do it. When friends and neighbors ask me to do something, it is
always because they couldn't find an off-the-shelf solution to their
problems. It is a challenge to come up with a working solution. Then, I only
ask to be reimbersed for materials, I never charge for labor. That's what
keeps it a hobby.
Sometimes I even build something just to see if I can do it. I know somebody
else can, (Norm!) but the trick is to see if I can do it. I also make my own
plans. Only three times have I started a project with somebody else's plans.
Even then there were serious tweaks involved.
You know what, I don't have to explain myself to you. Ignore what you just
read (unless you got bored and quit reading already). I got to go put a coat
of poly on my latest project.
I enjoyed reading your reply to this OP. and this:
"In fact, there isn't a house on this block in which we haven't contributed
some kind of woodworking."
reminded me of one of my older woodworking buddies: he and a neighbor had
been admiring a set of lawn chairs that another neighbor had purchased,
decided they would both like lawn chairs like that. They were prone to
helping each other and everyone else in the neighborhood with woodworking
projects up to and including the occasional garage and playing practical
jokes on each other, too.
The original pair took one of the much admired chairs one night, took it
all apart, made a pattern, put the chair back together, put it back where
it belonged, and then worked together to make several copies over several
weekends. The chairs began appearing on lawns all over the neighborhood.
Didn't take long for the original chair owner to put 2 + 2 together - that
one of his chairs must have been swiped, pulled apart, copied, and
replaced. "Which one did you copy?" he asked. "The one that doesn't fall
apart next summer" was the reply. Naturally, the original pair took the
other chair apart and put it back together again, too, it won't fall apart
next year either.
That's what most woodworkers are like.
I guess we're not so different from trolls, really. We dislike and
point out that, which we hate about ourselves.
obww - I have a 40+ year old B&D jigsaw with an all-aluminum case.
It's very lightweight, and suitable for lightweight work, such as
cutting plywood and up to 1/2" softwoods. Very little vibration. I
also have a B&D professional VS orbital jigsaw that is much heavier
(and much newer, 1990). It was pricey, at around $130 (in 1990
dollars). It has always been a useful, dependable tool. Some of my
other recent (5-10 years ago) B&D tools didn't fair as well.
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