So the wife got me the Black and Decker Matrix and I started looking on youtube for what other people had been doing with it. That was when I decided that palletwood was going to be the way to go. There wasn’t a Lowes or a Home Depot within a couple of thousand miles and I couldn’t read any of the signs in this country to figure out what a local Lowes looked like!
I went down to the Base Exchange here (Military equivelant of a Wal-Mart/K-Mart, but not as cheap generally) and cut a deal with the manager to let me grab a couple of pallets here and there and break them up for the working stock. And THAT was when I realized just how much you can miss the “power” in power tools. The matrix simply couldn’t even rip through the pallet boards, much less crosscut. So of course I realize that now I’m going to have to go buy myself another circular saw…to match the one that was sitting in permanent storage back in the States. Jen (the wife) was sure to give me some ribbing over that request. I of course also realized that a Sawzall would also really making breaking the pallets down go soooo much faster. And yes, I also have one of those in permanent storage….back in the states. Go figure.
So I decided to go talk with Jen and figure out a way to cut a deal for some tools…pretty much a second set of what I already had back in the states and she just smile when she saw me coming from messing with the matrix and the pallets. She said it was real simple…I get new tools…she gets a couple of end tables and a new coffee table. I had never even tried furniture making but I wasn’t about to pass up a good deal on getting some tools just because it meant learning how to do something I had absolutely no idea about!
After that I went off base exploring and looking around for any sort of lumber yard or hardware store. I mean how hard can it be. All lumberyards are gonna have a big patch of space with lumber stacked up all over under awnings or something. Should be easy to spot right? Yeah…not so much.
It wasn’t until I had lived here for about three months before I ran into a guy at the base post office who was a woodworker who told me to hang around for a few. He got off work and drove me straight to a lumberyard that was only about a 7 minute drive away and I must have driven past at least 10 times and never noticed! For any of you guys or gals coming out to Osan the place is called Gaya Housing Supply and is located on “Little Highway 1” right next to the Pyeongtaek Fire Station. And he speaks perfect english!!!!
Needless to say, I was pretty happy. He had a great deal of pine boards from Europe and Australia. A small smattering of hardwood that seemed mainly ready to be used for baseboards or something like that. He had a fair number of namebrand tools, but everything was about half again the price it would be back in the states. Off brand cordless drills were going for about $200. That and the fact that they were 220V told me I wouldn’t be buying any powertools from him. I did look through the lumber some more and that’s when it dawned on me that I now lived in a foreign country….I now had to think of all my board measurements in metrics!
-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams