A Once in a Lifetime Deal

Every few years I get a deal of a lifetime when buying tools. Many years ago, I bought my 15″ Powermatic planer from a company going out of business for $700. I bought my Contractor SawStop table saw from SawStop corporate through Pop Wood for $1000, and yesterday, I bought a six piece Porter Cable combo kit for $25.00.


As you may know, I’m a sales rep for Oldcastle selling patio block, mulch and soon composite decking to Lowe’s and Home Depot. While visiting one of my stores yesterday, I walked in the back of the store by receiving to talk to the RTM clerk to see if there were any credits I needed to give for broken patio block. While back there, I saw a Porter Cable tool bag full of tools lying on the floor and asked the RTM clerk what they were doing there. She told me that it was a return that the customer said the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge. Knowing that Lowe’s will take back anything no questions asked, the first thing that came to my mind was a customer buying a tool, using it to do a job, then returning it to get his money back.

She told me she had to get rid of it somehow and asked if I wanted to buy it, so I said “sure”. She asked what I would give for them so I told her $20.00. She then told me she would have to call the manager to see if that would be okay. I told her before I buy them, I wanted to make sure that my current batteries from my Porter Cable set would work on the tools. I’ve been using the same drill and jigsaw from the same set for a few years now, so I was hopeful my batteries would be compatible. I went to my car to grab my tool bag while she called the manager to make the deal happen. When I returned, she said “what about $25.00”. I said fine and hooked up my battery to the all the tools to make sure they all functioned. I took the bag of tools and walked up to customer service to buy them. I couldn’t believe it. I just bought a $300 combo set for $25.00. I didn’t care that the tools were a little beaten up and used. Almost all of my hand tools I buy are used. Many from a hundred years ago.


When I got home, I laid the tools on my bench to see what I got. A drill, an impact drill, a sawsall, circular saw, multi tool, flashlight, and a battery power checker with USB ports. I took the battery it came with and charged it up. It works perfectly.


Why the customer returned the tools is anybody’s guess. There is only one battery for the set, so it may be the guy wanted a free battery so he simply didn’t put the extra one back in the bag when he returned it. I don’t care. I’m just glad as hell I got the deal of the year. Happy Thanksgiving!


SawStop injury video

I felt what happened to me last weekend on my SawStop was so eye opening that I decided to post a video explaining what happened to help other people not make the same bonehead move I did. Plus I wanted to implant it in my brain so I never do something that stupid again.

I contacted SawStop and sent the damaged cartridge to them for inspection. They contacted me a few days later and told me that will be sending me a free replacement cartridge since it was a “save”. I’m glad because at $69.00 a pop, they’re not exactly cheap to casually have a spare around.

My SawStop Works

I’m a little too embarrassed to post this but I figured I should. I always thought I would be one of those SawStop owners who would own a SawStop for thirty years and never had to use the safety trigger. Today put an end to that dream.

I was ripping a piece of 3/4″ walnut 1″ wide when the next thing I knew I heard a large bang. I looked and saw the blade was gone. I backed away from the table saw and looked at my left thumb. Somehow my thumb caught the blade. I wish I knew how I did it, but it happened so fast I’m not entirely sure how. I wasn’t rushing and I was paying attention to what I was doing, even using a push stick.

I was using my left hand to gently hold the wood away from the blade and using my push stick with my right hand pushing the wood through.  I think what happened is right before I got cut, I felt some vibration in the wood and it caused my left hand to slide into the blade. I mean, it had to have happened that way. It’s only logical explanation of how I got cut. I just can’t believe how fast it actually happened.

The damage to my thumb is not that bad. The blade took a chunk of skin off and ripped my fingernail but no stitches are required. I can’t even imagine the damage that would have been caused had I not owned the SawStop. More likely I’d be in the emergency room tonight trying to have the top of my thumb reattached.

After I got my thumb taken care of, I took the cartridge and blade out of the saw. I’ll have to go buy a new cartridge tomorrow at Rockler and use another blade but it’s still far cheaper than an emergency room bill. I think my table saw has just paid for itself!