The $25 deal

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I had a surprise windfall. Not a huge amount, but something totally unexpected. Now, the audience-participation question becomes: What do you do with $25 in "shop money?"

About a week or so ago, I mentioned that an online friend needed a few small, thick pieces of quartersawn cherry. He only needed two, but one piece had some suspicious looking checking so I sent him three. I neither asked for nor expected anything in return, but he surprised me by sending me a check for $25.

I've decided that I'm going to put that $25 dollars into my shop in some manner. There's no pressing shop need right now, but I could always stock up on some consumables I'm sure to need before long – sandpaper, say, or a can of satin polyurethane. I could get a clamp or two, since you can never have, well, you know. For that matter, I just bought six new 36" clamps for which there's no room on my existing clamp rack; so I could get some stock specifically to make a new clamp rack or expand my existing one.

Last night before retiring, I looked around the shop to see what $25 could buy. The answer was quite a few things, and I finally decided a good use for the unexpected cash. I thought it might be fun to present you with the same choice, so here's the game: You suddenly have exactly $25 in mad money for the shop.

Here are the rules: You must spend the money on something for the shop. No groceries, gas or other household spending. (And no cheating by putting gas in your truck to go pick up lumber.) You must spend the $25 as an entire purchase. That is, no putting it toward a more expensive item; you must spend no more than $25, except for tax. Likewise, no copping out by getting a $1 woodworking item and pocketing the change for beer money. You can buy a single $25 item, or you can get multiple items totaling $25.

So, with your hypothetical $25 windfall in shop cash, what would you get?

Till next time,

A.J.

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