Monday, April 8, 2013

Sticker Shock And Aggravation

I was very blessed to grow up on a West Virginia hill farm and in a loving family that had an old manual sawmill. My father loved the field and the forest, so it’s not surprising that I do, too. Unlike most of today’s fathers, my dad taught me all he could about what it took to make a living the only way he knew how. As a result, I sometimes joke that even though I may not really understand modern technology, if you ever need to get a tree bucked into the highest grade logs, or get some firewood split, I’m your man.

I still have nearly a hundred acres of woodland behind my house. For understandable reasons, then, using wood plays a big part of my SHTF plans. I figure I can get a lot of my needs from the woods and trade some of the excess to others. That means I’ll need to keep my tools sharp. THAT means that I better have a small stockpile of files. So, I went out to the chainsaw dealer where I used to spend so much of my time and money to buy a box of a dozen files to set back, even though I still have several. It turns out that his supplier doesn’t stock dozen boxes anymore, but “three-packs.” Two three-packs cost me what a box of a dozen did the last time I bought any.

Next, I went to the last remaining decent hardware store in town to get a box of a dozen 8 inch mill bastards (a type of flat file). They only had singles in cardboard and shrink-wrap. I decided to look online for dozen quantities instead, though I haven’t looked yet. I also needed a square taper file for a small project, but I knew the answer before I even asked. So, I ended up paying as much for one 6 inch slim-taper triangular file as I used to pay for a dozen box.

Times have certainly changed. I guess stockpiling some files will take longer and cost more than I thought. © 2013


Sixbears said...

Quality tools can't be faked. That's where inflation shows up. They can't be replaced with plastic or have the sizes reduced.

Michael Silvius said...

and you are lucky if its not all cheap chinese made junk

Mamma Bear said...

I try not to go to town but a few times a month. Each time I have sticker shock and it gets worse with each trip!

Gorges Smythe said...

Sixbears, I know that taxes and red tape have driven prices up, as have rising metal prices, but even online, the prices I see quoted are unbelievable for some styles. I know wages sure haven't gone up any.

Michael, I buy only American or Scandinavian files or I don't buy. The Chinese ones are good only for paper weights.

I hear ya, MB!

buddeshepherd said...

Inflation has been hidden. Many quality items have gone up in price. So have replacement parts. Engine parts from pistons to head gaskets are insanely high.
Things which sell at a high rate have been kept low. Things which set on the shelf or were bought with real money and kept in inventory are insane.
But yet I can buy a remote control helicopter from China for $25.

Gorges Smythe said...

Hey, Budd, I wonder if China would sell us drones?