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Crazy Stuff Stumpy Thinks About #9: Hard to spend cash... can it really be true?

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Blog entry by StumpyNubs posted 03-13-2012 02:07 PM 1527 reads 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: I've taken up boxing to kick some dove tail Part 9 of Crazy Stuff Stumpy Thinks About series Part 10: These planes are moldy! »

It’s a tale as old as time: Boy gets some mad cash. Boy wastes the money. Boy crys himself to sleep. It happened to me as a kid, and more than once as an adult.

Here’s the setting: It’s the 1980’s. My hair is feathered and the sleeves of my stone washed denim jacket are pushed up to the elbow. My grandmother turns the radio off during my favorite Tiffany song and hands my brother and I a massive wad of cash; five one dollar bills… EACH! I don’t mind saying, I felt like J.R Ewing. I may have even thrown in on the floor and rolled around in that sweet, dirty pile of Washingtons!

But that’s when the trouble started. What were we going to buy? I already had a pair of Top Gun aviator sunglasses. That new album Guns and Roses kept promising to release was still M.I.A. And I was pretty sure this new thing I was hearing about called “cocaine” had nothing to do with a soft drink. You see, I had fallen into the wrong amount of cash! It was too much for a responsible kid to just blow on candy bars, and it wasn’t enough to buy a Delorean and build a time machine. Five dollars fell into the category of ”hard to spend cash”.

We went to Meijer (if you’re not from Michigan, think Walmart before Walmart existed) and scoured the toy department. All of the really good stuff was too expensive. All of the cheaper stuff didn’t give us enough “bang for our buck”. We wanted to walk out of there with something that would give us ages of value for five dollars, not something that would be consumed in a few days with nothing to show for it. I never knew how hard it could be to spend money. But that’s what happens when you have ”hard to spend cash”.

Long story short: We each bought the newest thing. It was a motorized toy called “T.H.I.N.G.S” which stood for Totally Hilarious, Incredibly Neat, Games of Skill. There were several different ones in the set, and they each cost about five dollars. Of course, that didn’t include batteries, so we were stuck staring at them as they sat motionless for a few days until we could steal the batteries from my dad’s pager. I remember that trip to Meijer vividly, all these years later. I can still see my brother playing with his T.H.I.N.G… It was called “Sir Lancelot” because you pushed a button to make a knight thrust his lance into the air to snag metal rings that a magnetic bat was carrying in circles over his head.

Here’s the funny thing… I haven’t a clue what T.H.I.N.G. I got! I’ve completely forgotten! How is it possible that I can still see the two of us in the toy isle fretting over what to buy. I can still picture the long wait in the checkout lane with our toys, the hours I spent playing with my brother’s behind his back when he was gone. The savage beatings I took when he caught me. But I can’t remember what my toy was!

The problem is, I made a poor decision. My T.H.I.N.G. didn’t offer enough bang for my buck, and it was soon forgotten. I had the whole world before me for the taking, at least any part of it my five bucks could buy, and I screwed it up. The mistake haunts me to this day!

Fast-forward (another 80’s term from the tape player days) to the modern times. Yesterday I scraped together $200. Don’t ask me where I got it, and don’t ask to borrow a couple of the tools I once had sitting around in the shop collecting dust either… if you know what I mean… Anywho, it got me thinking about what amount of money would fall into that ”hard to spend cash” category today. A woodworker has more expensive tastes than a child, and prices are a bit higher than they used to be. I’m finding that $200 is almost exactly in the same category that $5 was for me as a kid. I want tools, but I want a big bang for my buck. It’s not enough for a big power tool, not enough for a really premium hand plane… I was looking through the Lee Valley catalog until the wee hours this morning, trying not to overfill my shopping cart.

So, if you had $200, what woodworking related purchase would you make? Let’s assume that it is the last disposable money you’ll have for a long time. What would you consider the biggest bang for your 200 bucks (besides 20 box joint machine plans)

And when you’re done answering below, enjoy some light humor and great woodworking programming on Blue Collar Woodworking!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com



26 comments so far

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StumpyNubs

6191 posts in 1451 days


#1 posted 03-13-2012 02:13 PM

By the way, I did an internet search and found out a bit about T.H.I.N.G.S... My brother’s was called “Sir-rings-a-lot”. It seems to have been the most popular. After looking at the others, I remember that mine was “Egg-zilla”... what a bust that one was! By sheer coincidence, those are the two that are on ebay right now, and Egg-zilla is kicking Rings-a-lot’s butt! Guess everyone threw the Egg-zillas away and they’re harder to find today!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#2 posted 03-13-2012 02:54 PM

If I had $200 to blow, my wish list is far too long to make use of it all. Although if I had to use it on a single item without going over budget, I’d have to go with this Ridgid combo sander. Of course, I also lack a drill press, so it’s kind of a toss up between those two. Going by your videos, you have a lot of more equipment than I do already so I’m guessing you’re mostly looking for accessories anyway.

Oh, I know! You could always pick up 3 of those $70 foam sanding blocks you talked about in a recent video and you’d only be a little bit over budget! (sarcasm)

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View eddie's profile

eddie

7316 posts in 1265 days


#3 posted 03-13-2012 02:59 PM

No doubt about it i would buy a incaseof

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

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bradadsit

10 posts in 1266 days


#4 posted 03-13-2012 03:33 PM

Stumpy….love your show. At this point in my very ‘young’ woodworking career there are plenty of things that I could find to do with $200. I would probably go for a Stanley Sweetheart No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane, currently about $179. I know they aren’t the greatest hand planes ever, but they are a budget-friendly decent quality plane and I’ve had good experience with my Sweetheart Low Angle Block Plane.

Alternatively I would probably buy some lumber to actually build a real project with all of these tools that I’ve been collecting. Right now my local Rockler has Cherry on sale for $3 a board foot. That means I could get 65 BF with $5 left to spare, which I could use to purchase Sir Rings-a-Lot off eBay.

-- bradadsit

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StumpyNubs

6191 posts in 1451 days


#5 posted 03-13-2012 03:53 PM

BTimmons- I’d definitely go with the drill press before the sander. You can always use drums on the drill press for curved sanding. I do like the look of that Ridgid machine, though. As for a drill press, I got mine at Harbor Freight (large floor standing model) and have never looked back!

bradadsit- It’s funny that we live in a world where we now have to say that Stanley Sweetheart planes “aren’t the greatest hand planes ever, but they are a budget-friendly”! I think it will make shavings as good as the $400 ones!

As for wood- I bought several pallets of 2 foot cut-offs from the mill. They sell it as firewood. As long as I don’t make large furniture, I have enough maple, walnut and white oak to last a very long time! You should call around to mills in your state and see what they offer. (It’s worth the drive!)

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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boxcarmarty

9284 posts in 1011 days


#6 posted 03-13-2012 04:26 PM

I would have to go with the WorkSharp 3000. Of course I’d still have to search the sofa cushions for the tax and BORROW some Stumpy plans to upgrade it…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

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boxcarmarty

9284 posts in 1011 days


#7 posted 03-13-2012 04:31 PM

Drive to the mill for scraps??? There’s another 25 cents in gas that’s needed to get a half mile down the road.

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

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StumpyNubs

6191 posts in 1451 days


#8 posted 03-13-2012 04:53 PM

Not scraps. Cut-offs. And don’t drive for a few, take a pickup truck AND a trailer to load up.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4972 posts in 1493 days


#9 posted 03-13-2012 05:13 PM

Good One. Our budget limits the quality of what we buy? Just Checked my purchase date and price for my box store planer. A 12” Delta. I qualified for the 200 dollar catagory. Interesting…it’s discontinued, as well as the one that replaced it. Purchased in 2004. The only one I know ove in this range is at Harbor Frieght. LOL

Might buy some good quality sand paper? Or hardware when they have the annual 20% off everything.

Or a well made table saw blade?

LOL! At current gas prices I might get that 30 gallon tank on my 3/4 PU filled. :)

Pretty much now I am saving that 200 to pay bills.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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geoscann

258 posts in 931 days


#10 posted 03-13-2012 05:48 PM

Stump miser take that new box making jig and make a box (out of a tuba-fore) that them bills will lay real flat in. Then put them in it and glue it shut, finish it up special, so you know where its at and wait until you have more to ad to it do it all again until you have that camera because you know that what you really want, not another egg- zilla right.

-- BIG geo ---Occam,s razor The simplist answer is often correct

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StumpyNubs

6191 posts in 1451 days


#11 posted 03-13-2012 06:09 PM

This isn’t money from the camera fund, Geo. It’s tool money, and it goes back into tools. That’s the rules.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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geoscann

258 posts in 931 days


#12 posted 03-13-2012 06:21 PM

Well then you need to do the same thing. then you will be able to buy a big tool and bigg is always better you know that. its like the bigger the motor the better. the more amp draw the better the tool. O nuts i,am rambling on. stump you know best keep doing what you do best WOOD.

-- BIG geo ---Occam,s razor The simplist answer is often correct

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#13 posted 03-13-2012 06:45 PM

My hair is feathered and the sleeves of my stone washed denim jacket are pushed up to the elbow.
Been there, dude:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

63 posts in 1198 days


#14 posted 03-13-2012 08:52 PM

Last disposable money for a long time….I’d buy a raised panel router bit set.

Last weekend I hit Harbor Freight with coupons in hand and spent a total of $21 and got a random orbit sander, a straight edge clamp, a pair of work gloves, a free set of cheap scewdrivers (for my wife).

-- Rome wasn't built in a day..... it just looks that way!

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StumpyNubs

6191 posts in 1451 days


#15 posted 03-13-2012 10:27 PM

Tom- I thought about that. I actually don’t have a raised panel set. I do my panels on the saw or with a plane. But my wife wants cabinets, so I figure I can make HER pay for the set!

I love Harbor Freight! If you ever run short on coupons, remember, the best ones are usually in the woodworking magazined, like Wood, etc. They almost always have a 20-30% off coupon, which is good on sale prices too. You can go to a book store and buy a magazine before you go to HF. I never buy anything expensive there without using one of those.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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