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fm2176 last won the day on September 9

fm2176 had the most liked content!

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About fm2176

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    History, guns, wood, and driving.

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  1. fm2176

    Sears Files for Bankruptcy

    I don't exactly stay abreast of the latest business news, but based on a few sources, it seems that best Buy is considered to have had a revival of sorts. A few years ago they were in dire straits but have reversed and are actually pulling a profit again. JC Penney was mentioned in a few articles, but the consensus seems to be that they will gain from Sears' current situation. They are, after all, one of the few national mall anchors left.
  2. fm2176

    Sears Files for Bankruptcy

    Well, Sears has filed for bankruptcy: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/sears-files-for-bankruptcy-mired-in-debt-and-deserted-by-shoppers/ar-BBOonxR?ocid=ientp I know we've been forecasting this for quite some time, but Sears may be gone sooner rather than later. According to what I've read, there are still some who are cautious optimistic that Sears will stick around, but others think it will only last as we know it through the holiday season. The nostalgic side of me is saddened by the thought of a store my family shopped at for decades simply ceasing to exist, but then again this isn't the first time such an instance will have occurred. Montgomery Ward preceded Sears' decline, while more specialty big boxes also no longer exist. Thirty years ago, Circuit City and Toys R'Us were juggernauts in the electronic and toy retail sectors (respectively), and the retail landscape was vastly different prior to the internet becoming so omnipresent. So, what does this mean for us? Almost nothing, really. When was the last time anyone here even stepped foot inside a Sears? For me, it was probably last year, when I visited the Columbus, GA Sears prior to it closing. I picked up some discontinued DeWalt safety footwear for cheap (the fact that it seems to have been discontinued for a couple of years at that time yet was still in stock speaks volumes about the store's sales) and walked through the tool section, feeling melancholy as I realized it might be the last time. Let's face it, though, those of us who frequent home improvement stores, supply houses, online retailers, or myriad other sources for tools and supplies are unlikely to even notice if Sears ceases to exist.
  3. fm2176

    Harbor Freight

    In addition to the above advice, I'd urge a potential buyer to confirm model numbers before making a purchase. A lot of their products have multiple item numbers. A couple of years ago I was considering buying a wooden work bench (I never did, though). It had extremely mixed reviews, then I found a few reviews that stated there are two model numbers, one with mostly positive experiences and one with mostly negative ones. The "free" tools are usually worth the price. The exception to this is if you end up being lured into buying that expensive tool you realized you can't live without that is now 50% of the "regular" price. Walk in for a free flashlight, walk out $100 poorer. As for me, I generally buy nitrile gloves there and pick up the free batteries when I do. That way I have a constant supply of cheap batteries for toys and remotes as well as decent disposable gloves that they sell in a few different thicknesses. Also, notice the two different tiers of tools: the mostly garbage Pittsburgh and the mixed bag Pittsburgh Pro stuff. A $5 Pittsburgh socket set will be noticeably less refined than its costlier Professional counterpart.
  4. As a broke young soon-to-be father when I got my first job turning wrenches some 21 years ago, I viewed Craftsman as "good enough" for professional work but tailored for the DIY sort. My older brother had been a mechanic for a number of years and swore by Snap-On and other truck brands. My father was a life-long trucker who had his share of Craftsman hand tools. I took his approach to retail priced tools while slowly amassing some truck brands that had been either repossessed or traded in to the dealers. In the dying years of Sears' omnipresence, I was in a Hometown Store around the holidays. An older gentleman (I'd guess to be around 70) was chatting with a clerk about all the holiday sales and how "you can't beat [the quality and value of]Craftsman tools". More recently, and pertaining to attitudes about modern cordless tools, a former coworker and I were talking tools. He's exceptionally intelligent and, seeing how much I talked about new tools he kept asking me if I were a "Dewalt Guy". When I started talking more about my Ridgid and Milwaukee tools, he admitted to knowing little about tools and that, when in need of a drill, he has a lone Porter Cable drill. It was cheap, he knew little more than that Black & Decker markets to entry-level buyers, and he decided to go with a brand that carries a bit more weight. Subjectively speaking from my own opinions and those conversations, I think that Craftsman or Porter Cable could fill the same niche, but that continuing both will only confuse uninformed buyers. Given the decades of brand familiarity that even the younger consumer has with Craftsman, I feel that Porter Cable would gradually slide into obscurity. After all, Craftsman is what my grandfather owned, and what today's generation (I have adult children) recognizes as what "Dad" uses. I've said it before, but a close friend even bought into the 19.2v line because of the "Die Hard" batteries. My generation watched Sears' dominance rapidly fade, but we still remember when Sears was the place to go for tools, batteries, and appliances, leaving a lasting imprint which I feel would motivate us to pay homage to our forebears, so to speak. Unless our parents were die hard (no pun intended) woodworkers or such, however, Porter Cable was rarely seen...at least in households I grew up around. In short, I agree with the three-tier approach. If they insist on keeping all the brands, then so be it, but they should specialize certain brands and offer compatible batteries. Every brand might offer the basics (drills, drivers, and maybe saws), but leave more specialized tools to certain brands while selling only one brand from each tier in most stores. For example, they could keep the Wal-Mart Bostitch and Black and Decker but have interchangeable batteries between the two. Craftsman could specialize in automotive tools and saws while Porter Cable could offer routers and sanders. In a sense they already do this, as Dewalt and Mac use the same batteries; even so, Mac offered more options for automotive tools until recent years while never releasing things that a typical mechanic doesn't use professionally.
  5. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    I have a couple of the Bluetooth speakers, and saying they don't get loud is an understatement. In the right areas, such as a smaller room, they are decently loud, but otherwise they simply...suffice. I keep one in my truck to listen to streaming audio from my phone on my commute to work, and at 65-70 mph on the interstate it can sometimes be drowned out by road noise. Otherwise, however, I have been impressed with the speakers. If I want something louder there's always the TS Music + Charger. I'm fairly certain the one that sees the most use has a blown speaker, though, as it emits a rattling sound with certain types of audio. Guess I should check the date code to see if it's still in warranty.
  6. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    I enjoy using mine. In store they are located with the staple guns, so they may not even be in the tool aisle. Most stores don't seem to stock them with the other Ryobi One+ tools.
  7. fm2176

    Cordless drill batteries

    Ridgid has some nice tools, but nowhere near the number that Ryobi offers. The Lifetime Service Agreement is outstanding, though, but be forewarned that it only applies to batteries purchased with kits. For example, two of my 4Ah batteries are covered, as they came with a kit, as are all three of my 2Ah batteries, which were part of starter packs (battery and charger kit). My other four 4Ah batteries are not covered, however, since they were purchased in 2-packs. You'll hear some horror stories of the LSA registration process, but either Ridgid has refined this, or the naysayers weren't doing something right. I've registered at least 15 Ridgid products with only two getting kicked back. Each time I simply scanned or took a photo of the receipt and submitted it online.
  8. fm2176

    Lego my Ego

    After being somewhat disappointed by reviews of the DeWalt 20v Max mower, not to mention it's lack of local availability (supposedly it's very similar to the 40v Max version, of which displays at Lowe's prove to be well-built, if no better in terms of runtime), I pulled the trigger on yet another platform--Ego. Having had the 21" mower for a few weeks now, I'm very impressed with it, and am considering the backpack blower since my large DeWalt blower is buried in storage and a spare battery would be nice. As it stands now I don't plan to replace my DeWalt trimmers and chainsaw, but suffice to say that Ego has a new fan.
  9. fm2176

    Asbestos.... Its back

    Here's a slightly different view: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.slate.com/business/2018/08/the-trump-administration-is-not-bringing-back-asbestos.html I just love how every facet of life has been consumed by politics for the past couple of years. My Commander-in-Chief has my full support if for no other reason than being the whipping boy for seemingly everything these days. Hell, my wife and kids are as fervently against the POTUS as anyone. I avoid political discussions with them and definitely don't want to be subjected to such opinions here. It's been a long week and I have to attend a memorial service this evening, so forgive me if I seem thin-skinned, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who visits the TIA forums for apolitical discussions. To the OP, thanks for sharing as I hadn't heard about this.
  10. fm2176

    any info on the new tough system radio?

    I'll wait to find a deal... I paid around $240 for three ToughSystem radios and only have one (Craftsman) T-Stak, so $219 is a bit too rich for my tastes at the moment.
  11. fm2176

    new DCN21PL cordless 21 degree nailer

    9 gauge, according to this site: https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/hardware/screw-nail-sizes Your question piqued my curiosity on conversions.
  12. fm2176

    Tool Box for the Garage?

    Well, I'm at the new unit, relearning my way around Northern Virginia and about to start moving stuff from storage to the house this weekend. With my ragged old Mac and Craftsman boxes still residing in Georgia storage units, I want to pick up a shiny new box for the garage. The Harbor Freight 44" box gets a lot of positive reviews, but I'm considering the DeWalt or Milwaukee combo at Home Depot. Anyone have any of these boxes? Comments, suggestions, anything else?
  13. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    Picked up the M12 inflator and soldering iron, along with the Klein 7-in-1 nut driver today.
  14. fm2176

    2x20V lawn mower

    I think this is a case of "damned if you do and damned if you don't". A lot of us were clamoring for a 20v Max mower, but the runtime has proven to be a disappointment for a lot of people. A bit more refinement--or a kit with 12Ah batteries--could remedy some of the negatives, but then we'd be upset over having to wait longer or to pay a premium for the larger batteries. Another example of this is the 18v adapter for stem batteries. DeWalt took its time before releasing one, despite a lot of pleas for such an adapter. Meanwhile they continue supporting 18v XRP tools, and when the DCA1820 is released a lot of people are upset because it came after they had switched to 20v Max or another brand altogether. I think the 5Ah battery mower kit was probably bundled with the expectation that buyers would either already be heavily invested in batteries or that they would be cutting only a very small yard. I'm still considering one as I have plenty of 4Ah to 6Ah batteries to run it with. I was sorely tempted to buy the 40v mower as it's currently priced at $299, but it seems to have the same runtime issues and I have no other 40v Max batteries.
  15. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    Found this earlier and figured I couldn't pass for the new 4Ah batteries and DCD996. I have one of these drills but purchased it well used from a pawn shop. Also have a DCD995, but for the price of the batteries alone I figured it to be a good buy. The bit and holder is a Makita I just used for my truck's air filter housing. With this drill I really think I'm set. I move into the new house on Tuesday and will start setting things up.