Sticking it to us

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When did random stapling become so popular for lumber suppliers? Those things have become the newest woodworking-related accident waiting to happen.

I guess you can consider this my newest pet peeve. Lumber suppliers and sellers have taken to staples in a big way. In some cases, the barcode is stapled on a board end. Those, while annoying, aren’t much of a problem as they’re out of the way and usually remain intact till you get home and pull them out.

But suppliers are adding random staples to board edges to “bridge” adjacent boards, for stability in shipping I’m assuming. Trouble is that as soon as the lumber is offloaded into a rack for purchase, those staples pull loose on one end, leaving a sharp booby trap just waiting for an unsuspecting hand.

It’s not unusual to find several on a single board. They make carrying the boards difficult if you haven’t seen them, and even looking through the rack for stock can result in an unwelcome bloodletting. Don’t ask me how I know this.

The suppliers must be happy with this technique so I doubt they’ll abandon it any time soon. But I never go lumber shopping anymore without slipping a small pair of pliers into my pocket to pull those nasty things out before taking my stock to the checkout.

A.J.

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