Yay! New tools

I’ve become a fan of the Jet parallel clamps since I bought my first pair, so it wasn’t a real big decision to grab some more with their Black Friday 50% off sale. I didn’t exactly have the money to outlay, but 50% off is too good to pass up. Because of my budgetary restrictions, I had to cap myself short of what I wanted. I ordered two 60″ and two 24″ clamps to add to my four 40″ clamps. I also have two 24″ Irwins, but I don’t like those as much. Why? Because they don’t stay open in certain situations and my thumbs still hold grudges. I will anxiously await the next sale when I think I’ll grab some 12″ and 50″ sets. I’m glad I didn’t order those this time, as I’d still be waiting until February to get them (they just arrived today).

As for what else is new in the workshop, not a whole lot. I bought some 3/4″ ply a week or so ago for an upcoming shop project that I’ll tackle when everything else gets cleaned up. It might be as soon as this weekend, as it will be a great help. The pieces are already cut down, a necessity in this small shop. I did find that a factory edge was severely curved, which might present a problem if there’s not enough room to modify the sizes. I have half a sheet left which I’d really like to turn into my first real attempt at a kitchen cabinet – albeit for the shop. I also bought a 3/4″ box core bit for the project as well.

Speaking of kitchen cabinets, I picked up five sets of Arukum cabinet legs from Ikea, after seeing them used on MrBigerock’s cabinet build It would be nice to save some ply and not build a traditional box for the toe kicks. They are plastic, but are rated at about 300lbs a leg. Should be fine for my use, as I’m going to use four on each cabinet as opposed to splitting them.

My best purchase was probably the new heater I have for the shop, a Craftsman model designed for a garage. Ceramic on the outside, it has a few different settings. This is an upgrade to my $5 Lasko unit I bought about this time last year. I was just afraid it would tip over, and it wasn’t that powerful. This new unit warms the room much faster and I can mount it up on the wall. I’ll just build a little tin shield or something so dust can’t fall into the inlet. Perhaps a little beanie would work as well when it’s not in use. I’m paranoid, I don’t run either of them while I’m making dust, especially the miter saw. Bad juju.

That’s about it for end of year purchases, I’m hoping I pick up a few things at Christmas to help me produce better results. Other than that, I’m trying to pay down as much as I can so I can pick up a TS55REQ in the spring. I’ll be buying some materials for shop projects, but my tool purchases are largely curtailed. My car is paid for by May, so that will help a lot going forward. The track saw is two car payments.

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