Aug 8, 2010

Uff duh, such an auction.

If my head weren't so sweaty I'd have someone take a picture of me in my brand new Stetson, the  "Duke" model, and I'll be damned if it ain't, Pilgrim.

If I weren't so tired I'd go out in the shop and saw some more wood on my  big old cast-iron, 14-inch Delta band saw, which definitely isn't brand new, except to me. Which is good because it is a Delta. Let me explain:

There are two kinds of Delta tools. There are those, like this one,  from a generation-plus ago when the company still competed with a few other American tool makers to see who  could build the sturdiest, most trouble-free, most easily repaired, most elegant and straight-forward machines in the world.  The other kind come from the same firm which, in  about the 1980s,  discovered that "Delta" was  also an oriental slang term meaning  "built with celerity out of toad shit and tinfoil" -- and decided to bow to the Wisdom of the Mysterious East.

(The saw needs a cleaning after a few years in a barn, but with the barn swallow spoor brushed off and plugged in for a test, she ran quiet and straight and true. Errr, $55 with a couple spare blades,  if you must know.)  T'   hee.

Or if I weren't so tired I would go unload and stow the 200 pounds or so of lead and (no-kidding) Linotype metal.  Runs about ten cents pound out here in Bucolia.

Winchester and Federal primers were about a buck a deck, and Winchester Silvertip bullets in .308 and 125 grains were similarly given away. Not to mention the  Lyman mold handles I mentioned needing in a bleg a while back.

I feel so blessed. :)


Joel said...

I hate you.

What kind of saw? Bandsaw? Because then I'd have to hunt you down. So not a bandsaw, right?

TJP said...

Not everyone got the "planned obsolescence" memo back in the 30s. The best way to trick a company into accidentally making a durable good is to insist on specifications far outside the actual duty cycle. Just lie, because engineers do what they're told.

I remember a rather hilarious episode in douchbag engineering around the turn of the last decade. Suddenly Intel had a serious competitor and this created a processor war which taxed cheap power supplies in computers.

The no-name vendors simply changed their test methods and re-labeled existing equipment with new specs. Old-school power supply makers like Antec just built tanks. Within three years, the incidence of ruined equipment due to burning PSUs was so high that three-party testers decided to have a look for themselves. Yeah, those cheap PSUs could push 350 watts....for about 50ms before they smoked. Result: the competition got the business.

Jim said...

Joel: Come a-runnin'. It's a 14-inch, floor-standing bandsaw weighing somewhere in the 150-200 pound class. It isn't that I have nothing else to do today, but I do seem to find myself in the shop about once an hour, cutting another board, just making sure it still works. :)

TJP: Agreed. I know a good engineer or two, and I have sympathy for them. They get told to build a saw (or whatever) to sell for xx dollars. They ask, for instance, "How much blade runout is acceptable?" The boss says it doesn't make any difference. "And oh, by the way, Mr. Engineer, it has to photograph well. For the catalog, you know."

I speculate one of the problems is that we've spawned a generation full of adults who simply can't recognize rational design and robust construction. Mickey Mouse rules.

Joel said...

A neighbor recently found an old-school bandsaw like that. It had sat in a barn for years and was all fulla crap so it didn't look like anything, but he knew what he'd found. Man, it cleaned up pretty and runs so smooth it's almost a danger. Couldn't have happened to a better guy, either, because he's quite a craftsman. It'd be wasted on me, but I still hate you both.

I used to work in a chainsaw repair shop, and the same thing happened to them. Big-ass powerful yellow behemoths, the choice of the professional lumbermen ten or fifteen years ago - now the name's been sold to some no-name company that turns out crap - I wouldn't wish them on an enemy. But every time we couldn't fix one of the old ones for lack of parts and it went to the back wall to become parts itself, the angels cried.