Frustrating search

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Ever spend half a day trying to find one seemingly simple piece of hardware, only to be met with frustration?

Yeah, we all have. In my case it was buying a set of star knobs for my rolling task light.  Easy peasy, right? Any hardware or Big Box store has them. I’ve bought them before, both at my local mom and pop hardware, as well as both Big Box stores near me.

Hardware sign

With my project nearly done, I just needed those knobs to wrap it up. So I headed first, as always, to my local place. They had them, but were low. Specifically, they only had two, and I needed three. I needed to go to the Big Box after all (in the opposite direction), but played it safe in case they were also low and bought the two they had.

At the blue Big Box, their selection was also spotty. Couldn’t buy one that matched the two I’d just bought – their brand was slightly different – and they didn’t have three of their own in the size I needed for a full set. Again, I bought the two they had and it was off to the orange Big Box, in yet a third direction, but they also let me down. What, is there a pandemic-induced run on these things?

Back home and out of options, I went around my shop and checked all my jigs and fixture until I found three matching knobs in good shape, and cannibalized them for the light project.

In the end I wasted nearly three hours, drove more than 40 miles, and in the end finished the project using knobs I could have just grabbed that morning right there in the shop. Meanwhile, I have a couple jigs with mismatched knobs that will constantly remind me to take care of things like this sooner, rather than later.

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