Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist who loves woodworking and writing for those who also love the craft. I have found some ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop that might be helpful to you, and I enjoy hearing your own problem-solving ideas. Please share them in the COMMENTS section of each tip. If, in the process, I can also make you laugh, I have achieved 100% of my goals.
No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month I share a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.”
In our home office I have a file labeled “Lifetime Warranty.” Believe it or not, you probably have a bunch of things with lifetime warranties. But, try collecting on the item’s failure without a receipt! Many companies who offer lifetime warranties are counting on consumers to fail to keep up with them.
For example, the treated-lumber boards on a fence at our office rotted. Most of the boards still had the familiar yellow tag on one end, which I thought would serve as “proof of purchase”and represent a valid claim to the lifetime guarantee. Not so. The company actually paid a lawyer to deny my claim in writing, referring to the clause in the guarantee that requires the original receipt. For what they paid that attorney they probably could have bought me the few boards I was asking to have replaced!
Craftsman lifetime warranties don’t require a receipt, under normal circumstances. However, I once took a 100-foot garden hose in for replacement. I’d had it nearly forever, but, lifetime is, well, lifetime. There would have been no problem, except that when this hose was made, the only place that said “Craftsman” was on the female end of the hose. You’re getting ahead of me, but, yes, that was where the defect was. The part that housed the female threads had been separated from the ferrule, and the only Craftsman insignia was on that part.
In spite of all the money I’ve spent with Sears and the Randolph generations before me who lived by the saying, “If Sears ain’t got it, we don’t need it,” they wouldn’t take my word that it was a Craftsman hose unless I had a receipt. Stubborn man that I am, I took my hose back to work and sulked.
Months went by.
One afternoon an assistant came into the clinic from her duty of raking leaves in the exercise yard. A dark, heavy, metallic object in hand, she said, “Dr. Randolph, is this anything important?”
“Only about $85 worth!” I replied. You guessed right again. It was the missing hose part, factory-engraved “Craftsman.”
The next day I was off to Sears, 100-foot hose in the back of the truck, female hose threads deep in my pocket. I had wire-brushed the tarnish from one facet so that “CRAFTSMAN” gleamed for everyone to see. I called the Sears personnel together who had doubted my veracity a few weeks before, produced the required proof, and was awarded my brand-new hose.
It’s different, though, from the previous 100-footer: every few inches along the hose it’s embossed “CRAFTSMAN.”
Some other time, remind me to tell you how I got lifetime-warranty batteries from J. C. Penny Automotive for nearly 25 years.
Yep, those receipts are worth keeping.
Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.