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fm2176 last won the day on November 23

fm2176 had the most liked content!

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About fm2176

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  1. New type of naval warfare?

    From what I hear, the Navy grounded the pilot and crew and is investigating. I hope it was worth his (I'll venture to guess it wasn't a female) time and money, and hope they don't go overboard and kick him out of the service. Despite the (admittedly hilarious) display of immaturity, it takes a lot of skill to do something like that. It sucks being "that guy" in threads like this, but I know the climate in today's military. Stuff like this, while funny to most people, including myself, costs otherwise good officers and NCOs their careers.
  2. Happy Thanksgiving !

    Guess I was so focused on sharing my own plans that I didn't see this thread. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, though, and remember to drive safe if you're travelling!
  3. Thanksgiving Plans

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone (including those of you from outside the U.S.)! So, what are everyone's plans? I'm staying home this weekend and will spend today doing some much needed cleaning and organizing. My tiny loft apartment is full of so much stuff that I haven't seen some corners for months. I plan to finally unpack the FV miter saw and use the box it came in and some other boxes to start preliminary packing for the move next year. Once I get my tools consolidated, I'll try to figure out a workaround to post some pics (the site and/or my phone don't like direct uploads). Later today I have a turkey breast to cook for the dog and me, as well as a green bean casserole to make, and some Cheddar Bay biscuit mix to try out. The rest of this weekend will be spent working on discussion and a paper for my antepenultimate undergraduate class, Ethics and Discretion in CRJ; researching and building a PowerPoint presentation on the Battle of Khe Sanh for the professional development course I'm currently attending; and honing a couple of other writing projects. I'm also planning to tinker around with the cull lumber I recently purchased-just have to clean first so I can move my tools in and out more easily. I will be a little busy, but a clean and organized apartment will be worth it, as will getting one step closer to my degree and to promotion (with a $500+ monthly pay raise). Again, Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope everyone stays both safe and engaged in whatever gives them joy this weekend!
  4. Milwaukee M18 Battery Run Times

    True, battery life will vary by user and tool to such an extent where accurate data is probably not worth gathering. A drill may last x-number of hours in testing, but unless that test subjects the drill and battery to torture-like conditions, is the data going to be factual? If the test is severe, will the data be completely truthful to real-world application? The average consumer will likely look at the resulting marketing claims and might go for overkill. "I have to assemble this furniture now and want a battery that will last all day. Let's see, whoa, the little battery only lasted an hour in testing but the big one lasted six hours. Gotta get the big one." Hours later: "This battery is better than they claimed, but it sure is getting heavy, maybe I'll use that small one after all." When that consumer realizes that his small battery was enough all along, he might consider the data as skewed to lure unsuspecting casual users into buying $100-plus batteries they don't need. Cordless power tool usage, by its very nature, is about as subjective a subject as possible. Even people who use tools side by side for the same purpose will probably find that they prefer different tools and batteries. Suffice to say, I'm glad we're at a point where we can even bring up run time as it relates to batteries. Only a few years ago 3.0Ah batteries were the "high capacity" packs, and just before that 1.3Ah and 2.6Ah were about all we got.
  5. My restoration project- 1964 willies

    After WWII Jeeps were marketed as utility vehicles for a lot of different jobs, including farming. The PTO originally allowed them to pull equipment normally reserved for tractors. I did a fair amount of research over ten years ago when I still had my 1960 DJ3. I want get another flat fender Jeep one day. They're slow, moody, and most need a lot of work these days, but the classic original look is unmatched by anything since. Then again, I'm a fan of military history, so a CJ-3B might suffice, since they are similar to the Korean War era M38A1. One of these days...
  6. DeWalt Right Angle Adaptor @ACE

    I grabbed a couple when Ace had them for $6 or so last year. Haven't used mine a lot but when I have they've been handy.
  7. What tools did you buy today?

    Honestly, I have little idea besides the fact that many stores have decentralized clearance pricing. An online price usually reflects the corporate pricing, unlike Lowe's, which has had individualized (and now it seems, often inaccurate) store prices on its site and app.
  8. What tools did you buy today?

    If you want to take a chance, wait until after the holidays. Most of the Black Friday and holiday specials go for insane clearance prices if you don't mind the risk of missing out on everything. I got my original DeWalt brushless combo (DCD790 and DCF886, DCL040, and DS300 box) for just a few dollars more than the drill or impact kit cost at the time. Since then, there have been some good deals on everything from the entry-level kits to the premium ones.
  9. Flexvolt Miter Saw

    Depending on the proximity and number of locations near you and your schedule, store visits can result in much better deals. Factor in the discounts that can be applied to anything not requiring a coupon (special buys and such; two discount codes can't be used), and the deals, while hit or miss, can be spectacular. My first Milwaukee purchases were almost designed to go quick--the Fuel d-handle rotary hammer at 75% off and the 5.0Ah starter kit next to it at 50% off. $130.50 plus tax for both if my math is correct. The normal clearance sections at most stores I've visited are located on end caps. There is usually a tool focused end cap and one with plumbing and miscellany. Additionally, there is almost always an electrical clearance section tucked away in or near electrical and sometimes an outdoor section in lawn and garden. Occasionally there will be a table set up at the front of the store with tools (most new but some displays) and hardware. Some stores will have a tool display near the contractor entrance or tool rental. Most importantly, browse the aisles. Many clearance items never leave their original location. Also, check for odd places for items. Some of the podium ladder I picked up last year at 75% off were in the paint department.
  10. Please feel free to share any quirks or odd things you've noticed about your tools. These might include design choices, defects, things you took months or years to notice, or any weird things that have popped up in use. Two things I only recently noticed about a couple of my DeWalt items pertain to the DCR006 Bluetooth speaker and the DCE100 blower. I was walking the dog yesterday with one of my new FlexVolt batteries powering the speaker only to have the battery come loose a few times. First of all, the FlexVolt batteries are entirely impractical for carrying with the speaker as they throw it way off balance, and frankly anything more than a 12v Max or compact 20v Max battery isn't needed, but I felt like trying it out. Bearing in mind that the speaker was the first DeWalt item I purchased after buying a number of 12v Max batteries for an average of $9 each, I'm surprised I never noticed that the batteries do not lock in. I tried the smaller batteries as well and no dice. So, with the speaker smaller is better if you're carrying it around. I just pulled out the blower and put the same FlexVolt pack on it only to find that it will operate for a couple of seconds and then lose power. The battery works fine with the speaker and the DCBL720 blower, and the smaller blower works fine with other battery packs to include another FlexVolt. It's just odd that the blower does this, so I'm thinking that the battery is triggering some sort of electronics protection. Anyone have any ideas? Finally, my last quirk seems to be a known issue. My 2763 impact wrench trigger is faulty, causing it to die and blink an error code if I attempt to slowly pull it. I still need to contact Milwaukee about this and when it first happened I found a number of reports of similar faults. Other than those things, I haven't had any major issues or been unaware of any quirks with the tools, so I'm happy with all of the brands I own.
  11. Flexvolt Miter Saw

    That was for the full kit containing the adapter and two batteries. Most of the stores that are local to me dropped the price for $560 to $400 a couple of weeks ago, though one store jacked them back up to $799 during the stand promo. By now it may be hit or miss. I saw one display still on the rack a couple of days ago.
  12. Dewalt 12 volt tools are going away

    Got my impact driver today. Unlike my recent FlexVolt purchases and other power tools I've gotten in the past, the date code is 2017. Granted, we're almost done with the year, but I'd think that at the price I paid the tools weren't moving at all. The tool feels every bit as nice as my 12v Max screwdriver.
  13. Having served in the Army for 16 years, I've seen more than my share of what most non-government employees would call waste. As Drill Sergeants, my coworkers and I aren't afforded any official break periods, to include lunch. The chow halls throw out a bunch of food after each meal, but if we want to eat we have to pay for food that most of us wouldn't eat if we had a choice. Similarly, remaining field chow is tossed out, but we are not permitted to eat it unless we pay. Anything perishable goes into the compactor when chow is returned, usually including an entire pallet of bread and a bunch of cereal and other items. I've been a Soldier long enough to know the reasoning behind throwing away perfectly good food (and equipment or materials, but that's another matter); taxpayers paid for it and the government budgeted for it and acquired it for a particular purpose. Once it has been prepared (the food) or has met its intended purpose, it must be gotten rid of as it cannot go back into the supply system (though all accountable property must be turned in). In the Army you'll usually see non-accountable property that was bought with unit funds "go away". I've heard of items as big as riding lawn mowers going home with officers, but it's never been worth my career to take anything home. My monthly pay pales compared to a Captain's, but I still make enough to buy 2 or 3 riding mowers a month if I really need one.
  14. Okay, I need to vent somewhere, so here goes... A lifelong friend of mine has put himself away yet again. Like me, he enjoys his alcohol. Unlike me, he's had a habit of getting behind the wheel and getting arrested for DUI. He's never hurt anyone else, despite coming close to killing himself in a wreck ten years ago (broken femur, fractured hip, and a bunch of other injuries requiring months of healing and therapy), but that's does not mitigate the seriousness of his actions. He had a few DUI charges up until 2009 or so, but he managed to get off on a few based on refusals to take a breathalyzer and technicalities. Eight years ago was when things became truly serious, though, in terms of jail time. He was arrested for a 3rd offense (technically, I think he'd been convicted a few times already, but 2 or 3 were 1st offense charges) DUI in 2009 and sentenced to 5 years, only having to serve a quarter of that time. After getting released, he came to visit me a few states away despite being on probation, and as he is wont to do he angered his girlfriend who reported her car stolen, leading to him being arrested in another state on the way home and serving a year on unrelated charges. A few months after getting released and getting back home, the original jurisdiction found out about the probation violation and he was sentenced to serve out his remaining sentence--almost four years in state prisons. Now he'd been out for almost one-and-a-half years when his wife informed me a couple of days ago that he'd been arrested yet again. He was free of all probation, had gotten a pretty good job, and was making steady child support payments, but he was still driving to and from work on a revoked license. Conversations we'd recently had and a visit I paid two weeks ago had me thinking that he truly was reforming his bad habit of driving drunk. We had plans to start building furniture when I move back near the area next year, to give us both something to do besides drinking our boredom away, as well as discussing various projects for his house and my few houses. While he was incarcerated before, I'd stocked up on tools to give him so that he'd have something to come home to. Historically, he'd lose almost everything when he went to jail for a few months or a year. Venting over. My friend has almost definitely lost his job now, and his case was continued yesterday while he remains in custody. Sadly, I know that some other people here probably have similar friends or acquaintances, but we cannot control the actions of others. Now, on to the question. I have some virtually worthless (in terms of resale value) Porter Cable 12v Max and 18v tools that I was going to give my friend next month. I'm holding on to them until I find out his fate, but if he gets another years-long sentence, I plan to give them to someone else. It's nothing fancy: circular/reciprocating saws, drill, impact driver, OMT, five 1.3Ah batteries, two chargers, and the 12v Max impact/drill set. All of the batteries are still good, but all are between five and eight years old. Sadly, I've used this stuff much more than the vastly more expensive acquisitions of the past two years, and these tools are great, if dated and unpopular with some long-time cordless users. I was thinking last night about what I should do with them. I want to give them to a family member or a friend who is local to me, but have considered donating them to Habitat for Humanity. As I stated earlier, it is not a forgone conclusion that they won't go to my friend; I suppose there is a small chance that a judge will be lenient, but I have no desire to let them sit until the batteries die and kill whatever usefulness they still have. Do I donate them, give them away, keep them as loaner tools (another option), or offer them to a young apprentice or new tradesman who just needs something basic that they can upgrade from later? As for drinking and driving, don't do it! Though my friend and I live states apart and have little direct bearing on each others' life, spending one's adult life in and out of prison is not the way to go. This is just the latest start of what has been a constant cycle over the past eight years. He gets locked up, after his location stabilizes, we write a few letters, I put money on his phone account via J-Pay and occasionally give him a little for the canteen or to write digital letters, we discuss future plans and I try my best to keep him optimistic and forward-looking. He gets released, starts mending his relationships with his children and wife, gets a job and cleans up, we hang out a couple of times, and then he gets arrested again, starting the cycle anew. It sucks knowing that he may not be released this time until after I retire from the Army and start my next career. All things considered, though, we reap what we sow. Think twice before doing something stupid!
  15. Kobalt winners and losers

    I can't think of many recent Kobalt purchases, but the little 1/4" socket sets are outstanding. I got the smaller 19-piece set for $10 in 2010 or 2011 and loved it. When it got stolen I was hoping to find a replacement for a similar price, but settled for the 51-piece set when it dropped to $30. Kobalt is hot or miss, and Lowe's seems hellbent on promoting the brand for certain trades only to clear them out or lessen their presence in favor of other brands. Until 2014 or so, Kobalt concrete, masonry, and drywall tools were sold. Now the mechanics tools and toolboxes are the only ones that dominate their respective shelf and floor space. Layout tools, hammers, and other hand tools attempt to compete against other brands at prices that are little, if any, cheaper. Most stores are putting together much more aesthetic power tool displays, though, with brands including Kobalt standing out. Even though I have no interest in adding the brand to the multitude of cordless platforms I own, I hope that Kobalt 24v Max tools are considered outstanding well into the future. I have a 20v Max impact wrench and it is pretty good. It'll be gifted to a relative this Christmas, though.