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Seen in my local hardware store, didn't even buy - feedback please!

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Review by Jeff Mazur posted 12-03-2014 04:24 PM 3447 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Seen in my local hardware store, didn't even buy - feedback please! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Perhaps this is an odd thing to do in a review, but it feels like a big chunk of the context of my woodworking life has just been torn away. Ever since I can remember there has been a Lufkin folding ruler in the house, usually the brown wood one with the sliding extension, whether it was my family home when I was a kid, or in my toolbox as an adult. I own one of the model named, bought a couple years ago to replace another I’d broken, and it is as always had been accurate, durable, and smooth operating.

So yesterday I went to our local Tru-Value hardware store where I’ve been shopping for decades to buy one for my son for Christmas, a sort of rite-of-passage thing since he just moved out on his own this week (“measure of a man”? LOL) Anyway, I was shocked to find that all three rules that they had in stock had slide extensions that were damn near stuck tight. It really took a serious push to slide them out and back. Not cool, there should be friction enough to keep it still but not to resist movement significantly. I have owned two or three of these myself and never had to break them in, so to speak, and have never encountered any others stuck like this.

Has anyone noticed this at all? I’m not sure whether I should consider switching brands or hunt around at other stores (perhaps my local guy got a “bad batch” or maybe stored his stock in a real damp place?) Appreciate any info you can give, thanks!

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.




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Jeff Mazur

117 posts in 1384 days



20 comments so far

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a1Jim

117165 posts in 3657 days


#1 posted 12-03-2014 04:31 PM

Sounds like it may have some finish on them.try extending the extention and sanding the sides with some 600 grit sand paper and the bottom if you feel it’s necessary,it shouldn’t take much sanding.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Jeff Mazur

117 posts in 1384 days


#2 posted 12-03-2014 04:48 PM



Sounds like it may have some finish on them.try extending the extention and sanding the sides with some 600 grit sand paper and the bottom if you feel it s necessary,it shouldn t take much sanding.

- a1Jim

Didn’t buy them, these were in the store, Jim. I guess my point is that I don’t feel that I need to be repairing new goods, especially something so simple that I’ve been able to use right off the shelf for decades.

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.

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a1Jim

117165 posts in 3657 days


#3 posted 12-03-2014 05:10 PM

Dreek
I get your point and I agree,but in today’s marketplace the quality and care in making many things is just not there anymore so sometimes we have to work with what we can get.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Jeff Mazur

117 posts in 1384 days


#4 posted 12-03-2014 06:28 PM

Unfortunately, Jim, you’re right. It makes me sad. I repeatedly struggle with whether to fight the good fight or give in and buy from the foolish people who put profit above everything AND fail to see how quality can bring them profit.

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15436 posts in 2698 days


#5 posted 12-03-2014 07:49 PM

I don’t see a sticking slide as lacking quality. Is it fit and finish? Maybe, maybe not, but going all in and calling it repair of new goods seems extreme. Don’t buy a chisel, then, as it will need to be sharpened for best use. Or even a handplane from Veritas or Lie-Nielsen as those irons don’t come as sharp as they could be.

Plenty of quality gripes to be had out there, don’t get me wrong, it just seemed like an overreaction in this case. Oh, and I’m not a stockholder for Lufkin or anything. I use their stick rules, but favor the Two-Way models vs. the extension varieties.

A bit of bee’s wax in the track would likely be a fine ‘repair’ to the slide, if you decide to buy another. If not, I’m sure there are some broken-in examples on ebay.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Dallas

3599 posts in 2567 days


#6 posted 12-03-2014 08:13 PM

Curmudgeonly as I am, I agree with Smitty.

I haven’t bought anything made in the US, Japan, China or the EU, in the last 10 years, that I haven’t had to fix in the the long run.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Jeff Mazur's profile

Jeff Mazur

117 posts in 1384 days


#7 posted 12-03-2014 08:30 PM

I’m thinking that this has morphed from a discussion of whether the modern incarnations of my beloved Lufkin folding rulers have degraded in quality (which was really my intended exploration) to one much more philosophical in nature.

The consensus seems to be “everything is going to hell in a hand-basket, so accept and get over it.” From a practical standpoint, I have to agree. (Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff yadda yadda yadda.) But the notion still rubs me the wrong way, especially when I hear that kind of sentiment from folks who indulge in a hobby (or profession for many of you) that presumably places high value on quality of product workmanship.

My idealism makes me appear foolish or downright anal at times, I know, but I wear it with pride because it is distinctive and on balance positive, and I know from the past that these rulers can be and have been, over and over again, made right. It’s not a lost art, just lost good attitude, IMO.

So…has anybody bought a good (by my standards, non-sticking :) Lufkin (or any brand) of folder recently? :)

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

15436 posts in 2698 days


#8 posted 12-03-2014 08:41 PM

I have a lufkin slide-extending rule of the exact (I think) kind you posted above. Bought it more than a decade ago, actually, for some job where I didn’t have one of my regulars with me. The slide doesn’t slide, it’s a real pain to move. I thought, at that time and now, they were all that way, and wondered why anyone would see it as a useful thing to have when it’s so difficult to use.

Honest.

And I didn’t propose ‘all is going to hell in a hand-basket.’ That’s too depressing an outlook. I just reacted to your conclusion that the rule was outright broken / needed fixing. EDIT: With handplanes needing work, new or otherwise, it’s accepted as needed ‘fettling’ to get thing optimal. The best tools need little of this; others, quite a bit more. In the case of Sliding Lufkin, the slide may need wax or 600 grit paper, and the joints some fine machine oil to be optimal. That’s all I’m suggesting.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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redryder

2393 posts in 3182 days


#9 posted 12-04-2014 01:07 AM

This is the first review I have seen from someone who has not purchased the product.
This could start a whole new topic of people who go to the store and just pick it up off the shelf and give it a “consumer reports” review of products that are never bought….................................

-- mike...............

View Jeff Mazur's profile

Jeff Mazur

117 posts in 1384 days


#10 posted 12-04-2014 02:31 AM

I’m so sorry I ever started this.

@redryder Why don’ t you enlighten me and tell me what I needed to do in order to do a proper review of a folding ruler, that I couldn’t do in the 20 seconds I handled it in the store??? Sheesh.

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 3388 days


#11 posted 12-04-2014 04:25 AM


I m thinking that this has morphed from a discussion of whether the modern incarnations of my beloved Lufkin folding rulers have degraded in quality (which was really my intended exploration) to one much more philosophical in nature.

The consensus seems to be “everything is going to hell in a hand-basket, so accept and get over it.” From a practical standpoint, I have to agree. (Don t sweat the small stuff, and it s all small stuff yadda yadda yadda.) But the notion still rubs me the wrong way, especially when I hear that kind of sentiment from folks who indulge in a hobby (or profession for many of you) that presumably places high value on quality of product workmanship.

My idealism makes me appear foolish or downright anal at times, I know, but I wear it with pride because it is distinctive and on balance positive, and I know from the past that these rulers can be and have been, over and over again, made right. It s not a lost art, just lost good attitude, IMO.

So…has anybody bought a good (by my standards, non-sticking :) Lufkin (or any brand) of folder recently? :)

- Dreek


I Agree 100%. There are No acceptable excuses for lack of quality except those having no standards or pride.
No excuses are ever necessary when a product is of quality.
I have a Lufkin folding rule with the slide and also have a Starrett folding rule with the slide extension. The Starrett is of slightly better quality but they both do operate smoothly without tweaking.

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MT_Stringer

3172 posts in 3311 days


#12 posted 12-04-2014 05:03 AM

I used mine today. Works just like it did when new…but I can’t recall if it was in the 70’s or 80’s. :-(
The slide moves with a little thumb pressure and stays put when it is set.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Nickdarr

69 posts in 2111 days


#13 posted 12-04-2014 06:34 PM

I saw one at the red big box store and was showing my 8 y/o son how they work. The slide was snug, but moved easily enough for him to use. Maybe it is a case of excessively tight tolerances in a dry factory that gets out of whack in any type of humidity. We are in a dry climate with heat in the store this time of year, making it very dry. We also only used one, so I can’t speak for the rest of the batch they had on the shelf. Just my .02ยข

-- Darren... Hmmmm, I got nothin.

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timbertailor

1594 posts in 1504 days


#14 posted 12-04-2014 07:59 PM

I love my old tools. When things were still made with pride and quality, and no sign of plastic anywhere.

The only vote you have in this country that is worth a damn is with your dollar. I agree with you Derek. We should not have to lower our standards, just because the majority of the population has accepted mediocrity as a given.

I call it the “McDonald’s Syndrome” A company that makes some of the worst hamburgers on the planet making billions of dollars because it is inexpensive, semi convenient, and cheap. Quality is no longer required to generate revenue from those who suffer from this affliction.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10108 posts in 3113 days


#15 posted 12-05-2014 05:54 AM


I m so sorry I ever started this.

@redryder Why don t you enlighten me and tell me what I needed to do in order to do a proper review of a folding ruler, that I couldn t do in the 20 seconds I handled it in the store??? Sheesh.

- Dreek

We usually do reviews based on something we’ve bought and used and have had experience with.

How can you do a Review on something that all you did was hold it in your hand for 20 seconds?
Forget the “Proper” part.

I don’t know what “Sheesh” is suppose to mean, other than being Sarcastic, but the answer to your question is you CAN’T do a “Review” of any kind on something you’ve never used.

Have you ever bought a Table saw that didn’t take a week or so to get it set up and running properly? A Band saw, a Drill Press?

You should have bought it/them and spent 10 minutes “Fixing” it/them.

EDIT: Just had a look at your Profile:

36 posts in 34 days
Location: Gone
Website:

“Wish I could say it was fun.”

So. You Left LJ’s? Did we hurt your feelings or something? ... LOL ….. BYE!

-- If it wasn't for Electricity, We'd all be Watching Television by Candlelight!

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