Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by fm2176

  1. fm2176

    6 Pack battery charger

    This...for better or worse I've got more batteries than I know what to do with. My DeWalt 12v Max batteries sit idle for months but are ready when I need them, and some are 8 years old. My 8v Max gyro drivers see the batteries charged maybe twice a year.
  2. fm2176

    Long-Gone Retail Chains

    There used to be few home improvement retail chains in the central Virginia area which are no longer with us. Builder's Square, Home Quarters Warehouse, and Hechinger were three that I recall seeing and occasionally even venturing into. There was little need for the wares such stores offer insofar as my family was concerned, so the few chances I had to see the interior were memorable. I don't recall Home Depot back then (though I'm sure they were around the area), and the local Lowe's was not much larger than a Dollar Tree. To be honest, I don't remember a whole lot about these stores, despite remembering all sorts of stores like Bradlees, Ames, Hills, Best, Service Merchandise, Roses (still in business, but a shadow of its former self), Thalhimers, Miller & Rhoads, McCrory, G.C. Murphy, and numerous other chains. Sadly, Sears and Kmart will probably soon be added to that list. Retail history is a subject that has long interested me, though; from the dead malls and label-scarred shopping centers with dated designs, to the shifts in popularity for retail centers. Downtown was still thriving in the early '80's, enclosed malls finally dominated the latter part of the decade, and now the open-air town center (in some cases merely an upscale and massive strip mall) is killing many malls. These are and were places where handymen bought their tools and supplies, housewives outfitted the children with school clothes, and families spent memorable (if only for the kids throwing a fit) times. A fairly recent store to go out of business is Alco. In 2012 I moved to a one-light town in Georgia. There are a couple of gas stations, one with a McDonald's, and a Dollar General and supermarket, and until a couple of years ago there was also a store that is best described as a mini-Walmart. Alco appeared to be a lawn and garden store when I first saw it. They had a small fenced in lawn and garden section in the parking lot, lawn mowers out front, and even had a sign that proclaimed they were starting to sell beer! When I first walked inside, though, I was amazed. Those of you who never had an Alco can imagine a store the size of a Walmart market. Rather than groceries, though, they had clothing, footwear, home needs and decor, furniture, hunting/fishing supplies, electronics, seasonal departments, toys, a few aisles of non-perishable food, milk and eggs up front, hardware, and of course, tools! In other words, they sold just about everything Walmart does on a smaller scale and with less selection. Prices were unable to compete with Walmart, but factoring in gas and time, they were bargains as opposed to driving 60 miles round-trip. I shopped there often before placing all of my stuff in storage for an all-expense paid trip to Afghanistan, then moved closer to the installation once I got back. A couple of months later I read that Alco was going out of business, leaving a lot of small communities with Dollar General or Family Dollar as their only retail option. I made a last trip to see what was left (not much) and walked out a final time. The attachment some of us get to places we frequent--even chain stores run by mindless corporations that care only about our money--can be real. Don't get me wrong, the places that are now gone and the businesses that are no longer don't cause emotions to well up inside of me. Still, these were places where men and women earned a living, provided for families and themselves, and which were generally relied upon to make life a little more convenient. Okay, so an off-the-wall post that will very likely be on page 2 in no time, but it killed a little time for me. Conquered the Finance homework, organizing tools, and about to YouTube it up with AvE, The Great War Channel, Forgotten Weapons, and some retro gaming channels. Batteries charged, 10 gallons of water available, steaks for the dog, and a few cans of green beans and rutabagas just in case Irma decides to crush the Chattahoochee Valley.
  3. fm2176

    Favorite Clamps?

    What type and brands of clamps do you all prefer? I picked up four more Bessey GSCC clamps this morning, 36" this time since I mostly have 6" and 12". Those seem decent for the price, though I also like the Irwin and DeWalt trigger clamps.
  4. fm2176

    Why DeWalt? Why Not?

    I'm genuinely curious as to why you decided to go with DeWalt tools (or why you didn't), as well as what you feel their strengths and weaknesses are. I will be posting similar threads in the Milwaukee and Ridgid forums as I own a number of their tools, but will leave the other brands out for now--feel free to start your own in those forums if this subject piques your curiosity... As for me, it was simple, I was kind of indoctrinated. The first guy who took a chance on a 17-year-old high school dropout used B&D and DeWalt tools exclusively (there was some blurring between the brands back then). He hired me for his small gutter business, which manufactures hinge systems his father designed and which he and a couple of helpers installed. A few years later, my brother began investing in 18v tools, using them for various businesses and the trades he worked in. I had it pounded into me that Yellow simply belonged on the jobsite. To be fair, though, it was my quest for deals that really got me started down the path I've been on. Cheap 12v Max batteries coupled with a clearance Bluetooth speaker were the gateway to a very substantial number of 12/20/60/120v Max purchases.
  5. fm2176

    On sale at home depot

    The packout system is nice. While mine is hardly used, I've seen two in the vehicles of contractors that looked like they've seen quite a bit of work, abd if anything they only look better with some mileage. One was in a van and the other in the bed of a truck with a Ridgid box on top of it. Incidentally, both were at nearby Home Depots.
  6. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    I bought the last three Gorilla work platforms at my local HD this morning. The price went back to $59.88 but this store still had the $29 price displayed. A similar thing happened when I bought my M12 3.0Ah batteries for $69 after they'd gone back to $89. A quick price adjustment and problem (being the oversight on employees' part) solved... As for the work platforms, I find them to be handy tables, benches, and even supports for air mattresses, besides their normal use. I probably have ten total now, mostly Gorilla but one lone Werner. They're cheaper, sturdier, and more practical than Wal-Mart style furniture.
  7. Just trying to kill some time while hopefully eliciting a response or five... Near fifteen years ago I was a member of the Living With Style (LWS) "community", a rather large site comprised of forums relating to everything from gardening to firearms to art and even to a dedicated Flames forum. In 2008 it imploded but prior to this I was a Moderator for a forum there as well as an Administrator for a couple of its upstart Zoints-connected independent sites. At the time I was fairly active on those sites as well as other mostly gun and truck forums. In recent months, I've noticed a decrease in activity here at the TIA forums. While a few others and I visit daily, and a few new threads/posts are made daily, formerly active sections such as this one are seeing sporadic new content at best. One thing that seems to still be a problem is spam, as evidenced by the now-deleted invasion of Chinese(?) characters and links a few days ago. Another problem are those who seem to register only to try to stir up the pot, such as a very recent comment about those who prefer a certain tool brand. Besides extremely large sites like Reddit, these smaller but much more user-friendly forums seem to be slowly fading from popularity. Is it the near-instant gratification that comes from social media (versus risking slipping under the radar if a question or comment is made here)? Anyway, I'm as guilty as anyone nowadays, checking the forums multiple times daily but contributing less than I was mere months ago. Any insight into how to attract more activity?
  8. fm2176

    Are Forums/Discussion Boards Dying?

    I'm lucky insofar as having an uncommonly common name. When I search for myself I find a bunch of other English and Americans instead. As for Instagram, I may scope it out. Thanks for the info!
  9. fm2176

    Are Forums/Discussion Boards Dying?

    I think I'm just a bit too old and cynical for social media, in philosophy if not in age (I'm 40). I have a Facebook but primarily use it to keep up with military friends. Otherwise, I prefer the relative anonymity and hands-off nature of forums over social media, which in my mind only feeds the habit of being constantly connected to our mobile devices these days. Even so, years ago I was a member of various Yahoo Groups, and while I fondly recall the days of participating in those discussions, they lack the nostalgia of forums such as these. I know that this site isn't going anywhere any time soon and hope to see an increase in activity. Then again, maybe I'll have more time and a more positive view of social media after retirement.
  10. fm2176

    Went to Lowe's...

    ...and found a clearance table getting set up. A bunch of bare Bosch drills for $40, a new PC combo for $100, a Skill jigsaw for $10, and a bunch of other stuff that looked like it had been tossed in bins for displays. I ended up paying $1 for the Hitachi OMT accessory box with two wood flush cut blades, sandpaper and sandpaper adapter; and $2 for two more blades, sandpaper and adapter from an unknown brand (looks like Rockwell). As I was checking the other stuff out, an employee pointed out a box of free items. The grinder guard and wrench (hoping they work for the DeWalt and/or Ridgid cordless grinders), Porter Cable planer screw and wrench ( may be compatible with my DeWalt planets), circular saw rip fence, and DeWalt miter saw clamp all came out of that box. They had a bunch of side handles and dust bags too, but most of the stuff was Kobalt or Hitachi.
  11. fm2176

    new Q1 2019 onsite brochure

    Using this logic, Kobalt probably comprises 95% of power tool sales at Lowe's here in the States. Their 24v platform offers not only "20-25% more power" but also much cheaper batteries.
  12. fm2176

    new Q1 2019 onsite brochure

    I doubt it costs a prohibitive amount, especially since DeWalt usually has much better prices than Milwaukee (at least in the US). I suppose it's not too dissimilar from car makers rebadging a foreign model.
  13. Sitting here enjoying the snow in the DC area. While the accumulation so far is miniscule compared to that usually encountered further north, I'm comforted to know that in a pinch I can keep my phone and tablets charged with DeWalt, Ridgid, or M12 batteries, power small items with the DeWalt power station, generate some heat with the Ridgid forced air heater, run the ToughSystem radio for entertainment, light up the house with the various DeWalt and Milwaukee lights, and warm up with the M12 heated gear if needed. I don't expect a power outage--or even missed time at work--but days like this it's nice to know I have a few day's worth of backup energy for such conveniences. Does anyone else find confort knowing that being a "tool guy" makes you just a little better prepared for a short duration emergency?
  14. fm2176

    New Skilsaw Worm Drive Tablesaw

    Do they no longer make Kobalt?
  15. fm2176

    wingless' DCS355D1 20V MAX XR Oscillating Saw Kit

    Nice setup, I haven't used kaizen foam either, but need to get some to set up the myriad modular boxes with. The 20v Max OMT is great! I bought one for the free 6.0Ah XR battery promo last year, then got a little used kit my wife bought for a project. I used to have the PC 18v version which was useful but nowhere near as refined.
  16. I actually brought my DCF887 into work today to let a coworker use it, only to find out she no longer needs it. I lucked out and got mine in a kit with two 2Ah batteries for $90 after it was returned. Impact drivers are great, aren't they! My first was part of my first Li-Ion kit, an 18v Porter Cable. That and the 12v PC impact were given away along with the rest of those platform. I also gave away a Hitachi I had. Currently, I have the Ridgid, DCD886 and 887, and two M18 Fuel One Key impact drivers. The DeWalt remain the most used.
  17. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    Picked up the Ridgid hybrid forced air heater since a local HD had it in stock. The DeWalt at Lowe's tempted me, but I like having the option of plugging it in, and the LSA doesn't hurt.
  18. fm2176

    Ridgid Heater

    Just picked one up this morning but need a tank for it. I have four propane tanks but I think they are in storage out of state. The hybrid feature sold me on this over the DeWalt my local Lowe's has.
  19. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    Well, found the DeWalt inflator with battery marked down to $79, negating my "deal" but not worth return/rebuy. Also found the DeWalt forced air heater at my local Lowe's but passed it up. I did pick up two more Jawhorses, though. Found them for $86.40 each and left two. This gives me an even four, which is great due to how handy they are. Also picked up the M12 stapler with free battery, along with a Ridgid kit with free impact wrench for my son.
  20. fm2176

    How do you guys store bare tools?

    The AEG Quick Stack is the same as the Ridgid system in the US. A lot of the plastic tool boxes and organizers are made in Israel by Keter. Many of the ToughSystem boxes come from there, and the Keter, Husky, and Kreg (discontinued?) organizers are the exact same, with the Keter having different color schemes between Walmart and Lowe's.
  21. As the title states, what is your favorite and/or most used level? This thread is intended to primarily discuss spirit levels, but feel free to bring up any other style if you use that kind almost exclusively. Length, brand, type; I'm interested to hear what you use and/or prefer. I have a number of levels but find myself using 24" and 48" box or beam levels most of the time. Lowe's decision to clear out Fatmax levels a couple of years ago resulted in my acquisition of lengths up to 96", but to be honest I've yet to use any of those. As for brand, I like Empire's US manufacture at an outstanding price (particularly during the holiday sales), but my Fatmax levels tend to be my standbys. Finally, as an aside, I just bought another 2 pack of the Empire torpedo levels. At $5 apiece you can't go wrong, and I find them to be perfect for versatile magnets to stick on the fridge, entry doors, or elsewhere.
  22. fm2176

    What tools did you buy today?

    Since buying my DeWalt inflator I've found more than a few in other stores. It seems the battery is included (I thought it was just for the demo), but I still feel as though the deal was decent. Anyway, I picked up the M12 Fuel 1/2" ratchet with free battery and the Toughshell jacket Sunday, and just picked up the heated hoodie today. While I don't have any higher capacity batteries, this gives me three 1.5 Ah, five 2.0 Ah batteries, and the two 3.0 Ah packs I picked up Saturday. M12 has a bunch of decent tools but for now I think I'm done with the exception of a small light. I have the non-Fuel drill and impact driver, 3/8" ratchet, inflator, soldering iron, and the above-mentioned recently acquired tools.
  23. fm2176

    How do you guys store bare tools?

    I use the Ridgid or ToughSystem boxes (haven't loaded the Packout system yet), though sometimes a couple of tools will go in a backpack or bag for smaller projects. I find the DS130 ideal for battery storage.
  24. It's risky, but you can sometimes find holiday promos marked down after New Year's. I picked up my two compact M18 brushless drills earlier this year for $60 each ($99 holiday buy), or less than the batteries themselves sell for; similarly, I got my first DeWalt kit for about $220 ($299 holiday buy, IIRC).
  25. I concur with the others here: go DeWalt. I have a large number of their tools, to include their last and current generation compact and heavy duty brushless drills and impact drivers. As stated above, the larger batteries are mostly nice to have with higher draw tools such as saws and grinders, while the compact batteries will serve more than adequately on drills and impact drivers.