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Every few years I get a deal of a lifetime when buying tools. Many years ago, I bought my 15″ Powermatic planer from a company going out of business for $700. I bought my Contractor SawStop table saw from SawStop corporate through Pop Wood for $1000, and yesterday, I bought a six piece Porter Cable combo kit for $25.00.
As you may know, I’m a sales rep for Oldcastle selling patio block, mulch and soon composite decking to Lowe’s and Home Depot. While visiting one of my stores yesterday, I walked in the back of the store by receiving to talk to the RTM clerk to see if there were any credits I needed to give for broken patio block. While back there, I saw a Porter Cable tool bag full of tools lying on the floor and asked the RTM clerk what they were doing back there. She told me that it was a return that the customer said the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge. Knowing that Lowe’s will take back anything no questions asked, the first thing that came to my mind was a customer buying a tool, using it to do a job, then returning it to get his money back.
She asked me if I wanted to buy it so I said “sure”. She asked me what I would give for them so I said $20.00. She said she’ll call the manager to see if that would be okay. I told her before I buy them, I wanted to make sure that my batteries would work on the tools. I’ve been using the same drill and jigsaw from the same set for a few years now, so I was hopeful my batteries would indeed be compatible. I went to my car to grab my tool bag while she called the manager to make the deal happen. When I returned, she said “what about $25.00”. I said fine and hooked up my battery to the all the tools to make sure they functioned. I took the bag and walked up to customer service to buy the tools. I couldn’t believe it. I just bought a $300 combo set for $25.00. I didn’t care that the tools were a little beaten up. Almost all of my hand tools I buy are used. Many from a hundred years ago.
When I got home, I laid the tools on my bench to see what I got. A drill, an impact drill, a sawsall, circular saw, multi tool, flashlight, and a battery power checker with USB ports. I took the battery it came with and charged it up. It works perfectly.
Why the customer returned the tools is anybody’s guess. There is one battery missing from the set, so it may be the guy wanted a free battery so he simply didn’t put it back in the bag when he returned it. I don’t care. I’m just glad as hell I got the deal of the year. Happy Thanksgiving!
I was in the process of building another shelving unit for my wife’s new booth in Milford, Ohio. She originally asked me to build it four feet long. However, once I started to attach the shelves to the unit, she wasn’t too thrilled with the overall dimensions. I asked if she wanted it cut down to 36″ long instead of 48″, but she was afraid that it would be too much work. I assured her that I could cut it down without much problem.
I slapped the unit on top of my workbench and carefully measured where the rails were to be cut. I then grabbed my Festool plunge saw and rail system, clamped it to the lines and ran down the rail cutting as deep the blade would go.
I then flipped the unit off the bench and cut the two attached shelves in half.
After one side was free, I unscrewed the pocket holes and broke away the rails with a hammer. I then cleaned the side up with a random orbital sander.
I then flipped the other side of the unit back onto the bench and re-drilled the pocket holes to the shortened rails. For the two shelves that already had plywood nailed in place, I had to bust out the plywood with a hammer.
After about twenty minutes, the shelving unit came back together a foot shorter. I cut the remaining plywood to the new measurements and installed them using cleats on the inside of the rails.
Now it was time for the antique shutters to be screwed onto the sides.
After a coat of black paint, the shelving unit looks really nice in her new booth.
My wife, Anita wanted me to make some custom floating shelves for the dining room. We had some floating shelves from Ikea, but she wanted something that would match the coffee bar I made her.
Making the shelves were super easy. I grabbed 3/4″ pine and a couple of 2 x 2 select pine from Home Depot. I made the width of the shelves 3 1/8″ thick so that the 2 x 2 would fit inside nicely without getting jammed inside.
I used my miter jack to make sure the sides were a perfect 45 degrees so all the pieces would fit nicely together with no gaps. Most people make these shelves with simple butt joints on the ends, but I didn’t want end grain showing so I took the time to miter the corners.
After making sure everything fit together well, I glued and clamped the whole assembly together. Anita then stained the shelves with apple cider vinegar, steel wool solution and gel stain to match the coffee bar.
When it came to install the shelves, I attached the 2 x 2 frame to the wall by securing it to the studs making sure it was level.
I then slid the shelf into place and secured it in place from the bottom into the 2 x 2 frame. I then did the exact same thing on the second shelf.
Here are the shelves installed with a bunch of Rae Dunn pottery on them. Anita was planning on writing messages on the chalk board wall to give it some pizzazz, but decided the wall is too dark and will eventually paint it back normal. What do you think? Should she give the chalk board wall a shot with fancy chalk board writing on it?