Sunday, November 28, 2010

Didn't we just Celebrate Christmas

Wow! We are already at Christmas and it seems we just got over the last one.

Then there was all the hype of the Black Friday Sales. That was exactly what it was hype. The effort to drive the buyers into a shark like feeding frenzy.

My wife and I almost got caught up in all of this hype but at the last moment we realize that one we really do not have all that much more to buy and two the stuff that Wal-Mart and the big box stores actually are pushing are inferior product.s that we would be embarrassed to give.

So we stayed home and did our shopping at a reasonable hour and found not too surprisingly that the crowds had died down and we really had the stores more or less too our self's. Found everything we wanted. So my advice is ignore the Black Friday nonsense and just enjoy the holidays.

In The Shop

You get what your pay for. This saying was driven home to me the other day when a Skill 2 1/4 horse power router reminded me why they are so much cheaper then most. In trying to round over the edges of the end table tops the depth adjustment slipped and I managed to ruin the edges and by the time that I cut off the ruined edges well they proportionally would be wrong.

When I bought the router new 5 years ago I thought I was buying a tool that was of the same quality represented in my Skill saw I have had for 30+ years. Boy was I wrong. I have struggled with this router to no avail and rarely have I managed to get it to do what I needed and it should have been able to do. So out the door it goes.

I console myself with the knowledge that by the middle of the month I should be getting the Bosch palm router out of lay-a-way from the pawn shop and I will continued to look for a heavy duty router like a Bosch or Dewalt in the pawn shops and Craig's List.


I don't know how you reader feel about used tools and just about everything else but for me many a time it is the way I go. I buy used for several reasons.

One, reason is that the price of a used item is such that it becomes affordable for something that might otherwise not be. The palm router I mention above for example normally cost $120 in the stores on sale sometimes at $100 but I was able to get it at $60 and since I didn't have the cash with me able to put it on lay-a-way at the pawn shop.  The router came with everything including the original package but also had 6 router bits that at $10 average price minimum made ti a even better deal.

Another example i offer is the power chair I now own. As you may know I have had to retire because of wore out joints and arthritis kept me from being able to the job I had done for 40 years. I also kept me from being able to visit folks at the hospital (very handi-cap unfriendly), grand children's programs and going to the flea market. Well kept my eyes open along with a friend who told me about seeing a power-chair in a pawn shop. When I went there I expected it to be wore out. But it wasn't and the asking price was $300 used VS $2700 new. I tried it out and realize that It would do for me and I put it on lay-a-way getting it out in a 2 months. Now I am able to go into hospitals with my wife to visit family and friends as well as go to the flea market. All because I don't have to have new.

Here is another reason I buy used a lot. It has to do with the fact that buying used I do not contribute too unnescessary use of raw materirals and energy in the manufacturing process. I recycle by restoring the product to useable status. Finally a product that otherwise might end up in a land fill doesn't. It might not be all that much of a enviromental reason but every bit helps.

Here is another reason I buy used a lot. It is the character or history that shows on the product. Take a old leather chair you saved from the dump. You fix the uphostery tighten up the joints, and cleaned it up. Even so it stills shows the scars of life on it. But that is ok because I look at it and think it might be beat and scared up but it is still useable like me.

It all depends on how you think.


  1. Excellent post Dave....
    I especially enjoyed the why buy used section...a used tool that still works is also one that will probably keep on working...i especially appreciate your thoughts on recycling in a practical sense.
    we both feel the same about the Black Friday hoopla---