Friday, 10 June 2011

The Bermuda Triangle

Cheap tools are easy to find; decent ones much harder to come by. Needing some plug cutters and router bits I headed for my nearest purveyor of decent woodworking stuff, Axminster Tools which I discovered had a branch half an hour down the road in Bermuda Trade Park, Nuneaton.
And when I got there I found not just Axminster but Screwfix and MacDonalds in a Bermuda Triangle of manly pleasures.
Axminster is the place though - a huge gleaming showroom with every conceivable woodworking and engineering tool (plus plenty more you've never heard of). I came out having spent £50 - I could have spent £5,000! There was everything from massive spindle moulders to exquisite and excruciatingly expensive hand tools from Lie Nielsen. Expensive as in £350 for a hand plane - albeit with a bronze body.
Ironically the next day, just as I was settling in for a session of routing mouldings on my new framing my trusty Makita router seized solid. If it had happened before visiting Axminster I would have been spoiled for choice. Today it was a toss up between the local Screwfix or Wickes.
Screwfix had the better buy but - of course - it wasn't in stock at the Lichfield depot. Or at Burton, Birmingham or Cannock. Why do they bother with these depots? Nothing I want is ever in stock.
So back to Wickes which promises to 'beat Screwfix prices by 10 per cent'. And, yes, they agreed the Screwfix router was cheaper than theirs. BUT Screwfix's was 1250 watt and the Wickes one 1200 watt. "Sorry, they have to be identical" they said. "But that makes the Screwfix one an even better buy." I said. No joy. It wasn't identical. But Screwfix didn't have one so Wickes got my cash.

No comments: