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
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.
Sun, Aug 8, 2004, 2:18pm (EDT-3) firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Dodd)
<snip> a close out store dealing in all manner of weird household items
from 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
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.
Jesus was a Ford man, that's why he walked everywhere.
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.
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.
I'll add a third: the frame bending and twisting under load. :-(
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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