Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Current work load of projects

So I have been dark for a little while on the blog.  I have been busy but not with new designs.  I have been working on Christmas projects and other personal projects.  I was asked to make some things for my sister's wedding.  Nothing what I would call impressive but it took a couple of days.  It was all out of ceder fencing and nailed together.  I have also been trying to get a couple more decorations on the Etsy site before the holidays.  I am still hoping but my weekends are filling up with activities. 
However there are a few things that I have learned and are somewhat of an annoyance.  I mentioned earlier that my belt sander died and I was looking to replace it.  I didn't replace it yet.  I purchased the belt that was dead and greased all the bearings.  Now it works great.  My small shop vac also died. not really a big loss but it was a nice to have.  Being my engineering self I took it apart to see if I could figure out what was wrong.  It was an easy thing; the switch went bad.  I know that I am going to get in trouble posting how I figured this out but I am going to anyway.  I took off the covers, then plugged it in.  I then took a metal tool with a plastic handle and crossed the terminals on the switch.  It turned on.  Cut the switch out and connected the wires.  It turned on again. On Saturday when was fixing my belt sander my respirator head band broke.  I really cannot hold my respirator and wood work with tools so I needed to get another one.  I have one of the 3M half face mask versions.  I only needed to replace the head piece all other parts were fine.
So here is my annoyance:  Cost of the part verses shipping.  In the case of the belt sander, I needed a $12 part from Sears.  The part is only available online and I could not fined it elsewhere.  Shipping was $11 for a 5X7 padded mailer that cost less than $2 to ship.  The switch for the shop vac was $7.  I went to a local electronics store and they had one similar that would work.  No shipping required.  My respirator is another story.  I found the part I needed on line for $9.  before checking out I looked at the shipping and tax, $17 for standard shipping.  I looked on Amazon and found the entire respirator for $23.  I can buy a new respirator for less than it would cost me to get the one part that I needed.  Why is shipping so expensive?  I am literally throwing stuff away because the shipping is more than buying new.
There are a couple of take away ideas from this past weekend.  I may have spent $43 this weekend on equipment but in reality I saved over $200 because I did not buy a new shop vac and belt sander.  It is obviously cheaper to repair then to replace, even though I did not get a new sander.  Second is that I will choose free shipping or no shipping when ever possible.  I buy my toy wheels where I do because I do not have to pay for shipping.  Third, a little TLC for the equipment goes a long way.
There are some projects on the horizon that I am excited about, one from a plan I designed and a couple from a magazine that I recently purchased.

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