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Buyer's remorse

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We buy woodworking stuff all the time. Most we like and find useful. Other things, well, not so much. Bottom line is that we make a lot of woodworking purchases we later regret.

Been a little slow around here lately in the comment department – not surprising considering that the first "summer" holiday weekend is upon us and the weather has been gorgeous – so today's blog is a simple survey of sorts.

We can all point to things we bought for shop use that ultimately proved not so useful after all. I'm betting that if you took a notebook and walked around your shop, jotting down every purchase that ended up being a waste of time and money, that you'd come up with a total that might buy you something really nice.

I did a blog several months ago in which I was excited about the drill press laser I got. It worked perfectly the first time out of the box, but the very next time I switched it on I had to recalibrate it. And again. And again. It proved to be worthless, as it never retains calibration from one use to the next. Not sure what I paid for it – maybe $30 or $40 – but I wish I had it back.

My wife once expressed a great interest in learning to turn pens, and I actually helped her make a few on my lathe. One Christmas a few years ago I bought her a Jet pen lathe – a marvelous little lathe, really. It's still in the box, unused. I think I paid at least $130 or something like that at the time.

I bought about $150 worth of white oak a couple of years ago for a specific project that, for one reason or another, I decided not to make. I still have the oak. Now, that oak will never go to waste as I will use it eventually, but that 150 bucks could sure come in handy right now.

The three things I've mentioned (and there are probably many dozen more like it in my shop) come to more than $300 right there. I very much need a new router for my router table but it's not in the budget right now. That 300 bucks could make it so, but it's scattered around my shop; a little bit on my drill press, a bit more at the bottom of my lumber rack, and a bit in a box gathering dust on the shelf.

So, here it is: What shop purchase do you most regret making, and if you could get the wasted money back, what would you get instead?

Till next time,


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