4. SOURCES OF TOOLS AND MATERIALS
4.1 WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY TOOLS?
Trendlines or Harbor Freight. Sears is also pretty good, with high
quality, durable tools. For Canadians, it's Crappy Tire. The other
places are a rip-off. You could also join the Handyman Club of
America and get a whole bunch of free tools for testing. But this is
supposed to be secret, so don't tell anyone you heard it here.
4.2 SHOULD I BUY A SEARS BLURFL?
Sears Crapsman are fine tools for beginning and advanced woodworkers.
If you don't believe me ask [f]Art.. He has been busy researching
Craftsman history and found that Craftsman power tools actually are
significantly better than those of 20 years ago. They give your stuff
the real imperfect "hand-crafted" look. Make sure you also get a
Sears belt sander to fix your mistakes.
Bob Z. responded to questions from a newbie about the Craftsman
Q. I've noticed that CRAFTSMAN (Sears) woodworking tools like
tablesaws, radial arm saws, band saws, etc., seem to get dumped on.
Q. Are they really that bad?
quality, so they have to bash Craftsman. Don't listen to these pathetic losers.
Q. What do the experts consider to be the "best" or "top of the line"
brands when it comes to woodworking tools.
Sears also makes incredibly efficient motors. For the same size and
weight and electrical current draw, their motors have much more power
than the competition. Who else but Sears can defy the laws of physics
and make a 3 horsepower motor that only draws 13 Amps at 120 Volts?
Maybe the screaming coming from a universal motor is the sound of that
unaccounted for power being sucked through the interdimensional
4.3 WHY IS BOB VILA SUCH A JERK?
The Bobster is not a jerk. It's not his fault he knows everything and
other people don't. Evidence of this is that he was responsible for
bringing Norm to PBS. The fact that he shills the wonderful Sears
tool is even more evidence of his great insight.
4.4 SHOULD I BUY A CHIWANESE CLONE BLURFL?
Sure, they're cheaper. You can save a lot of money. But don't spend
the big bucks on Grizzly & especially Jet. They are overpriced.
They're all made in the same factory anyway.
4.5 IS RIDGID (ALSO SPELLED RIGID, RIDGED, ETC.) ANY GOOD?
The best!!! Ask any plumber. Oh, you mean the new woodworking stuff
at the Borg. The Rigid tools at HD are actually like a cross between
Jet and Delta. The Borg was getting tired of matching prices with
everybody on Delta tools, so they got the producer of the great Sears
stationary tools, Emerson Electric, to develop a new line for them
that's even better and cheaper than Sears, Delta, Powermatic, Jet,
General, Felder, Inca, Altendorf, all put together.
4.6 WHAT SHOULD I DO IF HD WON'T MATCH A PRICE?
The Borg has a very clear policy of matching competitors' prices and
taking 10% off. It is very important for all of us to make sure that
Home Despot follows its policy. How else are we going to help the
Borg eliminate all its competitors? A HD monopoly would make life
much easier for us woodworkers. It would eliminate the agonizing
choices about what to buy and who to buy from we have to make every
time we need a tool or some wood. We would save a lot of time wasted
shopping around when we could be working in the shop. It would also
end up saving a lot of bandwidth on rec.norm and avert the need to
split the group. So if you're having a problem in any store, threaten
to call Linda or Joan or Lisa at the HD headquarters (actually, any
female name will work).
4.7 WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN THE TRUCKDRIVER REFUSES TO UNLOAD AND SET UP
MY NEW 2000LB MAIL ORDER BLURFL?
Truck drivers should be required to break their backs because you
ordered from a mail-order company or Amazon to get a price break and
not from your local dealer. To hell with OSHA and all other stupid
government regulations and union rules. It's a real ripoff when you
pay $25.00 for shipping 1000 pounds across the continent and then have
to pay a whole bunch more to get it unloaded at your house. Lift
gates should be compulsory on all semi trailers, to force the freight
companies to deal fairly with their hobbyist woodworking customers,
who are the largest part of their business. Do they think everybody
has a loading dock in their workshop? It's obviously not the mail
order company since they always make sure they get the best, fastest,
and most expensive shipping methods and always specify FAS delivery.
4.8 WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION ABOUT PARTICLE BOARD AND MDF?
One word - Home Despot. The helpful staff at Home Depot know
everything there is to know about wood and woodworking. They are all
qualified tradespeople who took a massive pay cut just so they could
be helpful to rank amateurs like you.
4.9 CAN I USE THE WOOD FROM PALLETS?
Used pallets are a very easy way of getting free good hardwood. You
can save a lot of money by disassembling pallets. Pallets need to be
strong so they are made of the best quality clear, dry and
straight-grained hardwood, even better than what you can get at the
Borg. You might even get some expensive tropical hardwoods on pallets
from Southeast Asia or Japan. Plus reusing pallets saves trees to hug
for the eco-freaks among us.
You should have no problem taking the pallets apart, since most pallet
manufacturers have thoughtfully made them easy to disassemble.
Crowbars to your wallet or tactical nuclear weapons work best. (See
Don't worry about nails. Nails are made from soft steel. The steel
in your planer and jointer are harder than nails, and so is the
carbide on your blades. (So is the steel in any decent hand plane,
for the Neander types.)
4.10 WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO GET HARDWOOD?
If you're too lazy to take pallets apart go to eBay. You can get
incredible hardwoods for really cheap, all precut in the sizes you
need for actual projects. Don't worry about getting into a bidding
war, the stuff for sale there is worth a lot more than anyone has ever
bid on it. The pictures don't do it justice. The Borg is also pretty
good, and you'll save on planing and jointing. Local lumberyards and
sawmills specializing in hardwoods are a rip-off.
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