Craigslist – The Last Hurrah

Hi, my name is Andrew, and I’m a Craigslist Addict.

I have been clean and sober for 24 hours.

But I had one last find before I quit:

This is a 12″ Makita Sliding Double-Bevel Compound Miter Saw with work light and laser guide; the ultimate specimen of the tool that caused contractors and homeowners to abandon the Radial arm saw in droves (have you seen how many Radial Arm Saws there are on Craigslist?)

The Makita that I bought was originally $600 new, if you got a good deal. The guy I bought it from had two, because his work was replacing their 20+ saws with new ones and scrapping the old saws (it’s a Union shop, it doesn’t have to make sense). So this guy grabbed two of them and sold one to me for $125.

You can see in the pictures that it’s missing the retractable blade guard and the safety switch (the little button that you push to pull the trigger). I found a safety switch online for $10, and can buy the blade guard for $20 + Shipping, but I’m still on the fence about that, since the saw seems like a very safe piece of equipment (at least as far as power saws go), and the guard won’t keep you from cutting off your own finger if you’re truly determined to do so.

You can also see in the pictures that the saw was dirty. It had been used primarily for cutting aluminium, so the mess on it was grease, cutting oil, and aluminum shavings.

Mixed together they make this:

This cruft was caked into every crevice of the saw and partially filling the blade cover and dust port.

After a couple hours of disassembling, cleaning, reassembling, and aligning the saw, I considered my acquisition complete. This is my new saw:

Before I bought the saw, I had  told my wife: “This is really the last power tool I need to be able to do anything I would need to.”

I wasn’t lying, I have a table saw for rip cuts and precision work, a scroll saw for intricate curves, a band saw for large curves and light resawing, a circular saw for portable work and large work pieces, a jigsaw for potable curves and small cuts in large work pieces, a drill press, a random orbit sander, a router table, a standalone router, a bench grinder, an angle grinder, flex-shaft grinder, a power drill, a cordless drill and impact driver, a handheld power planer, a tile saw, and a wire-feed welder. Adding power tools to this would, most likely, either be for very specific purposes, and thus have very infrequent use, or would significantly overlap capabilities with something I already own, and so add less value.

But then I saw someone liquidating their workshop on Craigslist because they were moving. The thing that caught my eye was a top-of-the-line Makita 12″ surface planer for $100. What the heck?!? It’s as if Craigslist knew I was considering quitting and threw everything it had into stopping me (insert South Park Wal-Mart reference here: “Stan! I Can’t! Go on without me; I have to buy these screwdrivers!”)

With much support (questioning and harassing) from my wife, I passed on the chance to make the planer my own. Practically speaking, I’ve never milled my own lumber or built fine furniture, true I would need the planer if I decided to do these things, but I don’t have enough time for my current projects, I’m unlikely to add more projects any time soon.

I then closed my continually-refreshing Craigslist tools query, and deleted the Craigslist app from my phone.

I feel empowered!

I feel free!

I feel depressed.

But what’s done is done: Until I start a project that absolutely requires a power tool that I don’t own, I will not search Craigslist; I will not buy any more power tools. That’s what my Amazon.com wishlist is for.

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9 thoughts on “Craigslist – The Last Hurrah

  1. I think, the next project should be making a doll house out of a solid piece of Cherry. That would require a planer and could your wife really say no to a doll house with real cherry wood floors?

    • While I appreciate the sentiment in this comment, I must point out that the word limit on blog posts (if there is one) is quite large. Although, I am open to suggestions if I’m overlooking a capability in my tool collection (I’d rather collect based on number of functions versus number of tools).

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