The Voice of Experience

Wow. Nice shop poetry!


There is a certain poetry to a work area like that, don’t you think?
Maybe that’s why I enjoy seeing the work spaces so much.


Every workspace tells a story this is why you won’t see mine. :grin:


It really is a wonderful view! It looks out onto my huge garden, which is bordered by tall trees and - as of yet - undeveloped land. I have views of colorful flowers and whatever wildlife happens to be passing through (hawks, deer, eagles, coyotes).

It’s a humble space, but I’m grateful for the inspiring views and the room to spread out and splatter paint around :slight_smile:


There is a jewelers forum called “Orchid”, where a post prompted everyone to take a picture of their bench, as is - without cleaning up.
Needless to say nobody saw one of mine! No way.
The only reason I put some here is because I had just finished the semiannual scrape off/clean up.


I have never regretted buying a quality tool.
I have repeatedly regretted buying the cheapest version.

While this may not be universally true, it happens often enough to justify paying a bit more the first time.

Today, I stopped a yard sale and got some GrandDad’s old Sears Craftsman Radial Arm Saw and a tractor-green Campbell Hausfeld air compressor from his roofing contractor days. I’ve got a feeling that, given some maintenance, my new old tools will outlast the Harbor Freight compressor and the Ryobi miter box saw I’ve been itching to buy for 4 months. I haven’t bought either because they were all I could afford, and the voice of experience tells me that I have never regretted buying a quality tool.


FYI: Many of those older Craftsman radial arm saws had a safety recall. Something about the blade guard mechanism. The cool part is that the replacement kit they send you has an entirely new safety guard mechanism and a new wood table top. All for free. Just Google Craftsman Radial Arm Saw recall for the website. Type in you product/serial number to see if it qualifies. Comes reasonably quick via UPS.


Some tools I have not regretted buying the cheap version. Those are the ones that I needed for a single project and don’t expect to use again.


I had their radial arm 20 years ago, it was a fine tool.


As I said, not universal… but a good rule of thumb. The one-use angle grinder has outlived the initial project and proven itself to be a tool that I like. When it’s cheapness overtakes and the tool breaks, I’ll replace it with a higher quality iteration.

But a tool that I know is intended for more than one use - or heavy abuse… quality is a good idea.

There are use cases for each, certainly.


I have come across this very recently in my Woodshop. First of all, woodworking is an expensive hobby to get started in and I was fortunate enough to find someone (apparently with lots of money) who had just upgraded most of their main tools. He sold me a table saw, jointer, bandsaw, two routers, and some other oldish bits he had in the shop for $100 (read: Low quality crap, great to get a jumpstart, but nearly everything has since been replaced with decent tools). The table saw gear for raising/lowering/angling the blade stripped within the year and Craftsmen was no longer making that part. Replaced with a newer Craftsmen Table saw (~$250) and now something is wrong with the crankshaft to raise/lower the blade (stupid plastic part stripped around the bolt, and the bolt spins freely on the shaft so I can’t remove the crankshaft to replace it). Given the issues I’ve had with the miter slots (they put proprietary slots on the table saw and don’t sell enough accessories to make it worth it), the aluminum wings, and the never accurate fence system, I’ve often regretted the purchase (not a “cheap” tool, but lower mid-level)

This past week I was fortunate enough to get a SawStop from my Buddy’s scene shop. They were upgrading to a 3HP and didn’t need their 1.5HP. Got it for almost $1K less than I would have if I bought new. It still runs perfectly, they just needed an upgrade. The difference between this table saw and the two other table saws I had before is night and day. I may have to remake all of my table saw jigs, but I’m excited to work with it and the proven quality is already evident.


I never seem to take this lesson.
Buying an autonomous sit/stand desk, and although the bamboo top option would have been my first choice I elected to “save some money” and purchase another top from Ikea, and finish it myself.
After the time spent going to Ikea, sanding and sealing with 3 coats of clear finish, I saved $20.

Granted, it is inch and an eighth thick butcher block Beech, very nice looking - but as I wait for the 2nd coat to dry before sanding and a third coat, I realize that $20 won’t even cover a good bottle of whiskey.
Oh yeah, then there is the other side… :disappointed_relieved:


In my minuscule house, in order to have more storage, I have gone UP instead of out. Put two rows of shelving in one entire corner of my computer room, and in my laser pantry, shelving all the way to the ceiling on one wall.