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Suspicions confirmed . . .

by Planeman40
posted 12-19-2017 04:21 PM


1 2 next »
54 replies

54 replies so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 791 days


#1 posted 12-19-2017 04:38 PM

Well there ya go … proving once again Harbor Freight is  a deal! Thanks, Rufus!

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Gilley23

489 posts in 525 days


#2 posted 12-19-2017 04:38 PM

That does look like a handy little vise. Good looking out.

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John_H

176 posts in 1849 days


#3 posted 12-19-2017 05:41 PM


Or . . . you can buy the exact same vise from Harbor Freight for only $22.99 which is what I did.

- Planeman40

Keep telling yourself it is the exact same vise....

In fact – compare for yourself (Lee Valley on the right)

and these $7 Harbor Freight wood chisels are exactly like the one’s Lee Valley sells

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Planeman40

1256 posts in 2904 days


#4 posted 12-19-2017 05:47 PM

I have owned and used that vise for about four years now and I am intimately familiar with it. I assure you it IS the same vise! The different position of the base makes it appear different, however it is not.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1196 posts in 2254 days


#5 posted 12-19-2017 05:59 PM

I can spot at least two differences in which positioning plays no role in the above photos.
But I’m a sucker for LV :)

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3791 days


#6 posted 12-19-2017 06:03 PM

They do look a little different.

I had a “parrot vise” knockoff and the locking
collars didn’t work all that well. I never used
an original parrot vise but I don’t imagine they
would have become popular if they performed
as poorly as my knockoff did.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 791 days


#7 posted 12-19-2017 06:10 PM

Some folks just like to pay more. I used to park my Yugo right next to my co-workers Jaguar. I got to retire early … he’s still having to work … go figure.
 
And yes … I swear by those Windsor Design chisels.

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

9459 posts in 2435 days


#8 posted 12-19-2017 06:17 PM

Although I don’t necessarily think LV and HF get them from the same place, I am inclined to believe they are the same. I’m guessing they ultimately came from the same Chinese factory/foundry, and HF either bought straight from them or the cheapest source after that, and LV got them from someone who gets the castings from the same factory/foundry and then finishes them a little nicer, if the difference isn’t just in photography. It’s a very common scenario.

Apart from color and finish texture, there really are no noticeable differences. People who think that screw is a difference should check more pictures, because the vise head is 180 degrees out of sync in the two pictures above, and both vises have that screw.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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splintergroup

2304 posts in 1365 days


#9 posted 12-19-2017 07:06 PM

I’ve examined a number of these tool situations. Usually it is very obvious that the tool originates from the same factory, but more often than not the difference lies in the fit/finish.

My theory is the factory produces piles of the tool. They then get sorted based on their fit/finish. A company like LV will buy the top of the heap with the best casting surfaces and most accurate machining. HF will get the bottom of the pile with the rough castings and lousy machining.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1196 posts in 2254 days


#10 posted 12-19-2017 08:27 PM

Two differences I noted where the jaws – clearly different. There is also a screw on the right one that doesn’t appear on the left. Rotation of the base doesn’t matter to those.

For the record, I’m sure both are perfectly fine. I’m in Canada so I can’t get the HF one anyway. Princess Auto might have something similar though.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1144 posts in 2095 days


#11 posted 12-19-2017 08:36 PM



Two differences I noted where the jaws – clearly different. There is also a screw on the right one that doesn t appear on the left. Rotation of the base doesn t matter to those.

For the record, I m sure both are perfectly fine. I m in Canada so I can t get the HF one anyway. Princess Auto might have something similar though.

- JADobson

Both vises have two sets of jaws. They are rotated 180 degrees out of sync in the two photos. The left one has the large jaws up while the right picture has the small jaws up. As was stated above, that also explains the disappearing screws. The vises are very close in design, but there is an obvious major difference in the finishing. That said, the HF vise will hold a work piece just fine.

View jbay's profile

jbay

2666 posts in 1042 days


#12 posted 12-19-2017 08:41 PM

The vises are very close in design, but there is an obvious major difference in the finishing. That said, the HF vise will hold a work piece just fine.

- Kazooman


Until you hit something on it it with a hammer and the cheap pot metal breaks in half….

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2657 days


#13 posted 12-19-2017 09:08 PM

I have two HF vises in my shop and both take a real beating. One is over ten years old, and the other about 2 years. I would buy another in a heartbeat, should I need it, over paying 2-3 times a much for other brands.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 735 days


#14 posted 12-20-2017 12:10 AM

Of course these two vises are not the same. The second one brings you the bragging rights that you shop at Lee Valley, the first one… well.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21267 posts in 2826 days


#15 posted 12-20-2017 01:16 AM

Almost like that picture contest the Globe has…...”spot the 10 differences” sort of thing. Maybe NEXT, the pictures will actually be of the same view…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1256 posts in 2904 days


#16 posted 12-20-2017 02:56 AM

”Until you hit something on it it with a hammer and the cheap pot metal breaks in half….”

As I said in the beginning, I have had this Harbor Freight vise for four years, and I HAVE hit on it with a hammer a number of times with no damage. All solid cast iron and well made. Just another Harbor Freight/Chinese product naysayer who has never even seen the product!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View jbay's profile

jbay

2666 posts in 1042 days


#17 posted 12-20-2017 05:12 AM



”Until you hit something on it it with a hammer and the cheap pot metal breaks in half….”

As I said in the beginning, I have had this Harbor Freight vise for four years, and I HAVE hit on it with a hammer a number of times with no damage. All solid cast iron and well made. Just another Harbor Freight/Chinese product naysayer who has never even seen the product!

- Planeman40

True that! I’ve had a Wilton for the last 30 years and never had the need to look further…

View dbeck's profile

dbeck

65 posts in 502 days


#18 posted 12-20-2017 06:46 AM

Love my 22 buck hf vise, it freaking rocks.

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

511 posts in 3101 days


#19 posted 12-20-2017 07:52 AM

Auto parts counterfeiters make and sell copies that are dead-ringers for the real thing, endow to the packaging. Estimates vary, but in my world the guess is that at least a billion dollars of counterfeit parts are sold annually. The attraction to these parts is that they look identical and in fact they should because the pirates begin by copying each apparent detail, but as with photocopies there is a degradation of quality. And of course the materials that go into the counterfeit are crap by comparison to OEM.

So what is lost by using counterfeit? Maybe nothing, or maybe the damn thing fails in a way that is injurious to the user.

Counterfeits and obvious rip-offs undermine the OEM by diminishing their profits, and without sufficient profit, well, you know what happens. Please, one of the HF fanboys tell us of even one innovative tool that has been developed by HF or by any Chinese sweatshop. You cannot because they don’t. Their niche is to copy and copy they will until the innovators are driven out. Dance around with your woody and smirk at having pulled one over on the man if you like, but like the folk who abandoned mainstreet for a few bucks in savings from Walmart you are doing your part to qualitatively diminish the overall environment.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10898 posts in 3572 days


#20 posted 12-20-2017 12:29 PM

Harbor freight employees number 17000 people in the US. Can Lee Valley say the same?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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JCamp

818 posts in 694 days


#21 posted 12-20-2017 12:32 PM

According to my research patents are pretty much a American and European thing. China operates as if there are no patents and just shares the ideas and designs amongst their selves. That’s why with any product that is made in China that is valuable over here there’s is also a counterfeit. Most of the time it is cheaper and very close to being made just as good (for this type of thing anyway). I like buck knives and any buck that is made in China has a counterfeit being sold. I bought a couples off eBay that were real cheap and when I got them I took me forever to verify that they were not real They r still good knives it’s the fact that most stuff is being sold as the real item that bothers me. Anyway the vises are probably either made in the same plant or in a plant that bought the old wore machines from the original company. Either way I’m sure HF sells the seconds and the other sells the premium (as premium as u can get from China)

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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Knockonit

454 posts in 345 days


#22 posted 12-20-2017 01:44 PM

LOL, lotsa nays and ya’s, as has been noted on many an occassion, there is good stuff and some not so good stuff at the chinese outlet, buy, use and learn, only way i know, to confirm if its a keeper or not.

i have and do purchase a gaggle of stuff from the joint, some goes in the take somewhere else pile, and some in the keepers stash.

to each his own i say, and well you know the rest.

Rj

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#23 posted 12-20-2017 01:51 PM

Wow! Those 2-1/2in anvil vises from HF & LV are MUCH nicer than mine, though mine does has an anvil Horn unlike those above. My little 2-1/2in vise is older than I, and I remember using it with my father back in the 1950s and it was old and beat up even then. I was just a little squirt at the time and that vise seemed HUGE to me, at the time.

My guess is that it dates from the 1940s or earlier… any ideas on this?

Anyway, I am thinking of picking up that HF version, particularly because of the rotation ability… 8-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3090 posts in 1624 days


#24 posted 12-20-2017 01:55 PM

Its not the same vise. The castings are obviously different.

That being said, it may work just as well, but like everything HF, you don’t really know what you’ve got till you start using it.

Kinda like Obamacare & the “tax break” we’re all supposed to get. LOL

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

613 posts in 2078 days


#25 posted 12-20-2017 02:53 PM

I think I can clear this up as HF clearly states that for comparison one should use the Yost 250 for the bench mark. See clearly similar to the HF…...

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#26 posted 12-20-2017 03:06 PM

I believe that that “250” quote was/is a typo and should have been Yost 750, as seen below. Only the screw clamp mounting would match the #250:

YOST 750

Harbor Freight

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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jonah

1841 posts in 3442 days


#27 posted 12-20-2017 03:39 PM

Why is this even a discussion? They are clearly completely different castings.

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

613 posts in 2078 days


#28 posted 12-20-2017 03:46 PM



I believe that that “250” quote was/is a typo and should have been Yost 750, as seen below. Only the screw clamp mounting would match the #250:

- HorizontalMike

I thought a typo also at first but the 750 is a much larger vise with different jaw config.

Bad thing about these posts they end up with me buying something. I can see the little HF vise being a nice addition to the shop. I end up lugging out a much larger vise from below the bench when needed but think the smaller one (no matter if poor fit/finish) will do just fine for most of the stuff I end up needing to do. I will have to swing buy and check it out.

View Baseballhack's profile

Baseballhack

23 posts in 499 days


#29 posted 12-20-2017 04:38 PM

I have had the HF vice. The swivel locking mechanisms on mine failed. They would not sufficiently hold the vice in place unless I cranked on it, eventually bending the rods. I was not impressed with the vice but wasn’t heartbroken either as the price was low. I have no experience with the LV version.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 791 days


#30 posted 12-20-2017 04:53 PM



I have had the HF vice. The swivel locking mechanisms on mine failed. They would not sufficiently hold the vice in place unless I cranked on it, eventually bending the rods. I was not impressed with the vice but wasn t heartbroken either as the price was low. I have no experience with the LV version.

- Baseballhack

Operative words perhaps being … have had.  How long ago did you have this vise? Have you tried the most resent versions? I get a lot of flak for using the Windsor Design chisels from HF. The very first versions were indeed extremely substandard, but HF does seem to listen to reviews. Like these chisels today, I’m sure this little vise has come a long way. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#31 posted 12-20-2017 06:41 PM

Well… this thread convinced me to run over to HF and pick this vise up and replace my old one. Here they are side-by-side. Looking at the HF vise like this, sure makes it look rather “beefy” compared to my +70yr old vise, for sure… ;-)

Oh yea! After the 20% off coupon and sales tax, I STILL got it for less than $20.00 out the dooor!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21267 posts in 2826 days


#32 posted 12-20-2017 07:07 PM

Now…pose it in the same set ups as the LV one…..Don’t forget the brass thingy….and show a few pictures…..see IF they still say they aren’t the same castings…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#33 posted 12-20-2017 07:52 PM



Now…pose it in the same set ups as the LV one…..Don t forget the brass thingy….and show a few pictures…..see IF they still say they aren t the same castings…..
- bandit571

Working on it… Actually I am converting this HF Vise into a LV vise , through the art of magic. Will take a few to process images… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#34 posted 12-20-2017 08:26 PM

OEM Right Side

OEM Left Side

Starting to take apart and convert:

PRESTO CHANGE-O ABRACADABRA HOLY GUACAMOLE, ah thinkz weez gotz it! A brand KNEW LV Clamp-On Articulating Vise ! Oh my, Ah Izz… so gooood!...

YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY…
Just my 2-cents worth, especially since I can rarely, but not always, afford the goot’ stuff…;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 791 days


#35 posted 12-20-2017 08:47 PM


PRESTO CHANGE-O ABRACADABRA HOLY GUACAMOLE, ah thinkz weez gotz it! A brand KNEW LV Clamp-On Articulating Vise ! Oh my, Ah Izz… so gooood!...

- HorizontalMike

Mike, you are a veritable David Copperfield!

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3791 days


#36 posted 12-20-2017 08:55 PM

I read an article from Lee Valley once about
how they would go to different product shows
in Europe and Asia looking for things their
customers would like. Presumably they ordered
from the vendors at the shows.

Harbor Freight reps may go to the same shows
but I bet they buy samples and have them
knocked off from the cheapest supplier.

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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 791 days


#37 posted 12-20-2017 09:03 PM

capitalism  (noun) cap·i·tal·ism \ ˈka-pə-tə-ˌliz-əm 1. Harbor Freight reps going to different product shows
in Europe and Asia, buying samples and having them knocked off from the cheapest supplier.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3791 days


#38 posted 12-20-2017 09:33 PM

“There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.” – John Ruskin

I’ve bought several items over the years at
Harbor Freight and while some of them are
satisfactory to use, all of it has turned out
to be pretty crappy quality. Maybe the wrenches
and stuff like that are ok, but I already had
that stuff before HF became a thing. Many
of my HF samples have broken in some way,
even if they still work.

The vise looks like a decent HF offering, I’m
not arguing that. I’d be sad if a quality vendor
like Lee Valley was driven out of business by
Asian junk merchants though.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1256 posts in 2904 days


#39 posted 12-20-2017 09:49 PM

”I read an article from Lee Valley once about how they would go to different product shows in Europe and Asia looking for things their customers would like. Presumably they ordered from the vendors at the shows. Harbor Freight reps may go to the same shows but I bet they buy samples and have them knocked off from the cheapest supplier.”

I doubt this. Lee Valley specializes in hard-to-find high end rather expensive items. This leads me to believe they see this vise as being able to sell at a much higher price and do so, pocketing the profit as any capitalist should do. Harbor Freight has a different philosophy. Sell at a much lower price and sell vastly more than Lee Valley. Not only mail order but at stores all over the USA. To my knowledge Lee Valley sells only mail order and has a very costly color catalog. (I know its costly as I used to sell for large printing companies and sold and produced catalogs like the one at Lee Valley). I know of no Lee Valley stores though there may be one or two. Harbor Freight’s sales sheets are the cheapest available and the items are crammed into the least space possible to keep the cost down. Both marketing philosophies work if applied properly.

Note: I had no idea this subject was going to be debated so strongly when I posted it. Interesting.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

454 posts in 345 days


#40 posted 12-20-2017 10:06 PM

aw everyone needs to kick the can once in a while, ya think
Rj


”I read an article from Lee Valley once about how they would go to different product shows in Europe and Asia looking for things their customers would like. Presumably they ordered from the vendors at the shows. Harbor Freight reps may go to the same shows but I bet they buy samples and have them knocked off from the cheapest supplier.”

I doubt this. Lee Valley specializes in hard-to-find high end rather expensive items. This leads me to believe they see this vise as being able to sell at a much higher price and do so, pocketing the profit as any capitalist should do. Harbor Freight has a different philosophy. Sell at a much lower price and sell vastly more than Lee Valley. Not only mail order but at stores all over the USA. To my knowledge Lee Valley sells only mail order and has a very costly color catalog. (I know its costly as I used to sell for large printing companies and sold and produced catalogs like the one at Lee Valley). I know of no Lee Valley stores though there may be one or two. Harbor Freight s sales sheets are the cheapest available and the items are crammed into the least space possible to keep the cost down. Both marketing philosophies work if applied properly.

Note: I had no idea this subject was going to be debated so strongly when I posted it. Interesting.

- Planeman40


View jbay's profile

jbay

2666 posts in 1042 days


#41 posted 12-20-2017 11:19 PM

I can’t believe anyone would think those two are both the same vice.
All HF sells are China knock off’s. Regardless of how good you think it is.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#42 posted 12-21-2017 12:14 AM

I really think many of you are missing the point entirely… How many of you noticed just how dry the friction points are within this piece of equipment? Much less the rough machining?...

I for one, have rebuilt different astronomical telescope mounts of dubious quality, going from something like 30-arc-seconds error down to less than 5-arc-seconds error in tracking. Believe me, the little things count. Spend your money as you will, or spend it wisely and correct obvious errors… It is everyone’s choice to do as they will. As for me, I will always tinker for better performance,... always. It does pay off, just pay attention.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21267 posts in 2826 days


#43 posted 12-21-2017 01:01 AM

I’ll just keep my 4” Monarch..

Older than most of the posters in this thread…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#44 posted 12-21-2017 01:15 PM



I ll just keep my 4” Monarch..
...[snip]...
Older than most of the posters in this thread…..
- bandit571

You bet! I will also be refurbing my old Stanley #700 5in. jaw corner vise from probably the late 1950s. I need to replace the old hardboard faces, since I have torn them up over the years. Looks like I will need to laminate at least 2x to get the correct thickness. All is good, as most of these old tools can last nearly forever… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Macrosill's profile

Macrosill

15 posts in 688 days


#45 posted 12-21-2017 03:09 PM

I have the HF version. It is fine for small work.

-- Thanks, Brian

View Baseballhack's profile

Baseballhack

23 posts in 499 days


#46 posted 12-21-2017 03:12 PM

It was just last year. Did they change the design in that time? Looks the same. The vice would have been awesome if it had held up. Wouldn’t mine another one if I can trust its reliability.

I have had the HF vice. The swivel locking mechanisms on mine failed. They would not sufficiently hold the vice in place unless I cranked on it, eventually bending the rods. I was not impressed with the vice but wasn t heartbroken either as the price was low. I have no experience with the LV version.

- Baseballhack

Operative words perhaps being … have had.  How long ago did you have this vise? Have you tried the most resent versions? I get a lot of flak for using the Windsor Design chisels from HF. The very first versions were indeed extremely substandard, but HF does seem to listen to reviews. Like these chisels today, I m sure this little vise has come a long way. Don t throw the baby out with the bath water.

- Ron Aylor

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1196 posts in 2254 days


#47 posted 12-21-2017 03:28 PM


I know of no Lee Valley stores though there may be one or two.

- Planeman40

There are 19 stores in Canada. One of which is 5 minutes from my house.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Just_Iain's profile

Just_Iain

291 posts in 559 days


#48 posted 12-24-2017 11:51 AM


”I read an article from Lee Valley once about how they would go to different product shows in Europe and Asia looking for things their customers would like. Presumably they ordered from the vendors at the shows. Harbor Freight reps may go to the same shows but I bet they buy samples and have them knocked off from the cheapest supplier.”

I doubt this. Lee Valley specializes in hard-to-find high end rather expensive items. This leads me to believe they see this vise as being able to sell at a much higher price and do so, pocketing the profit as any capitalist should do. Harbor Freight has a different philosophy. Sell at a much lower price and sell vastly more than Lee Valley. Not only mail order but at stores all over the USA. To my knowledge Lee Valley sells only mail order and has a very costly color catalog. (I know its costly as I used to sell for large printing companies and sold and produced catalogs like the one at Lee Valley). I know of no Lee Valley stores though there may be one or two. Harbor Freight s sales sheets are the cheapest available and the items are crammed into the least space possible to keep the cost down. Both marketing philosophies work if applied properly.

Note: I had no idea this subject was going to be debated so strongly when I posted it. Interesting.

- Planeman40

Hi Planemaker,

Lee Valley and numerous stores in Canada. 3 in the city of Toronto alone where I live. Been going to the stores for 30 years.

Lee Valley like most retailers has offered some questionable items in the past and present. Always a few that are head scratchers when you look at them.

Iain

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1615 posts in 2491 days


#49 posted 12-24-2017 12:31 PM

Is this a good time to admit that I have never been in the local HF and I do order from Lee Valley on occasion?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3057 days


#50 posted 12-24-2017 01:37 PM



Harbor Freight is great for buying things you want to stick up your ass.
- mvflaim

If you insist. But I don’t use them like that.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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