As you all remember my table saw almost gave up the ghost last week. I was able to get a new part and get it running again. Yea me! Well today I discovered my battery recharger for the 19.2 volt drill is not working. I had dropped it about a month ago but haven’t had a need to recharge the battery since then so I didn’t know at the time that it had broke. I had it on a shelf about 6-feet off the ground with the spare battery in it. Those batteries are heavy and it hit the ground hard. My hope is that only the red “charging” light is broken and the charger is still working. I’ll know in an hour.
I also discovered today that the drain valve is faulty on the compressor. I started to assemble the cabinets today and the plan was to use the pneumatic finish nailer to just tack things in place while I used clamps and nails to do the real fastening. The motor pretty much runs continuously trying to keep up with the air escaping out the drain valve. I decided that would be too annoying to have that thing running constantly – it is incredibly loud - so I did without it. I used it last about 6 weeks ago when I was putting the quarter round trim in the kitchen. It was fine then.
I also discovered this week that the rollers need to be either replaced or adjusted on the planer. I think they need to be replaced. When I was planing the 1X6 to make the backs to the floor cabinets the boards just don’t feed through well. You really have to push hard to get the boards through. On top of that, the boards plane unevenly if they are too far over to the left. Its seems like the rollers have worn down on one side and are not making complete contact with the wood. Very much a drag. I think this has to do with working with the rough-cut salvage wood. The thing is designed for lumberyard wood that already has finished sides. On top of that I can’t find the manual for the planer and that has the schematic and parts list. I hope I can get it on-line.
So, to recap. In the past two weeks I’ve had the tables saw, compressor, planer, and battery recharger for the drill break down in some fashion. The really interesting thing is that I bought all of these tools within the first 6 months of owning this house. That means they are all between 3 and 3.5 years old. Is that the lifespan of low-end Craftsman tools? One could make the argument that these tools are designed for the weekend warrior type crafts person and I am using them on an almost contractor level. You do get what you pay for after all. Another way to look at it is that everything wears down and needs maintenance and parts replaced on occasion. Still, it seems odd that they should all start needing repairs within a 2-week period.
On the plus side I got the main part of one of the cabinets put together today. I need to leave it in the clamps for a few hours at least, and probably overnight. That means I can only do one at a time because I only have so many clamps. I use Tight Bond II wood glue. The directions say clamp for a half hour but that does not seem long at all. I need to work on some trim for it anyway, so no biggie. I will need the table saw and router for that. Lets see, I bought the router about 2 years ago so that means I have about another year to go before that thing takes a crap on me. I’d better get busy.