Turning Archive 2006

To make or buy? (somewhat long)

Dominic Greco in Richboro PA
>Greetings all!

With the baby and starting a new job, I haven't had much time to spend in the shop. However, I did manage to spend a hour or two last week working on some peppermills for a demo I'm giving at the end of next month. I intended to have (5) of them, in various stages of completion, all ready for the demo. This ardous task reminded me why I stopped making peppermills in the first place! I think the worst part is the drilling!

What I really wanted to be doing was finishing up a white ash burl bowl that has been waiting for the past month. Or making a set of 3 point tools. Or re-vamping my waterstone sharpening setup (for flat work). OR, maybe....dare I say it? Work on the long delayed Dust Collector upgrade (it's only been hanging around for 5 years!)

But I digress. I find that with my new commitments, shop time is at an all time premium. When I get the time to spend, I have to use it in the most efficient manner. Some tasks get put to the side until later. Others just cancelled.

For example: making a 3 point tool. At Bill's 5 Barns BBQ last month I tried out William Duffield's shop built 3-Point tool and was very impressed. So much that I wanted to make one (or several of different sizes) myself. Being a do-it-yourselfer I've made several shop built tools and have had a alot of fun.

So I get all excited and look for the drill rod. No one local has it. So that means ordering it. And from MSC, it's a $25 min order. Not a big deal. It's only a 3 day wait. Then I need to find the brass nuts to use as a ferrule. Again, not a big deal. But still it takes up time. Then there's drilling the blank, turnig the handle, grinding the profile, and then actual assembly.

Now Packard Woodworks and Craft Supplies USA sells a 3/8" diameter HSS 3 Point tool for about $26.00. See where I'm going here? Depressing as it sounds, it appears that buying the tool is more economical, and will yield more efficient use of my shop time.

So it's settled.


I'm going to buy a 3 point tool from one of these vendors.

So there!

In a stunning display of logic I've determined the best course of action that will maximize my shop time.


I should be proud of my capicity for deductive reasoning.....


Then....could someone please explain to me why I'm so bummed out?

It feels like that time when I was 8 yeas old and my younger brother snuck downstairs, opened all the cereals, and stole all the prizes inside.

See ya around,

My ugly mug


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