Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The thrill of quality equipment

I've always had a fascination with high tech equipment especially if it relates to my line of work. But it is difficult to define what kind of stuff that you can, should or need to use because the longer you think about it, the more you think you'd need it.

I recently procured some exceptionally interesting equipment that I will put to serious test come this weekend, that's what's keeping me alive at the moment. Firstly, yesterday I collected 2 Half-Jacket replacement lenses. It actually didn't cross my mind that my Half-Jackets had interchangeable lenses, how silly of me, here I was wondering how I ought to get my hands on some cheaper Oakleys, and this was the best option to have crept up unexpectedly. I purchased a Clear, and High Intensity Yellow XLJ Lens.

My fascination with Oakley eyewear was years ago when I was still in college. There was something unusual about the way they made stuff, from their radical designs to their sensible features that you can't find elsewhere. When it boils down to the end of the day, its all about precision optics, and the fact that not everyone is too concerned about it. As for me I wouldn't spend money on eyewear that doesn't have optically sound characteristics, just as I view most designer eyewear.

Fast forward to the present, I found myself working at my currently large carpentry workshop (which will soon be downsized to another smaller location in a matter of months, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts), more and more often. When you're working with power tools and basically a wealth of hazardous equipment, its generally a good idea to have some good equipment going for you. I had disasterous experiences toying with cheap machinery that nearly killed me, and that's not any way to regret later in life. So of course wearing goggles is one of the prerequisites, of course after a while I didn't wear any except my specs because a)the plastic goggles (RM5) fogged up constantly, b)distorted my vision at the edges and c)were seriously uncomfortable for long periods. Recently I resorted to wearing my Half-Jacket, although it had Black Iridium lenses so it got pretty dark most of the time, which is also a bad idea.

Oakley uses Plutonite(R) lenses that are optically superior, blocks all UV rays and blue light, and is impact resistant, generally the qualities that you would seriously appreciate once they become relevant to what you do. Browse through the Oakley site to find out more, I feel the same way about their products now as I did years ago, its not about fads, its about equipment that works.

The second item that I am anxious to test drive is my Bosch GCM10S Slide Mitre Saw. This is one sweet piece of machinery: 1800 watts of pure power rotating a 254mm circular blade at 4600rpm! This is going to be my new baby. Also purchased as an industrial strength vacuum cleaner so at least now I can practise my 5S's of cleanliness and orderliness in my workplace.

Its slightly frustrating how you can't get much information about power tools over here. I called Bosch the other day with some questions regarding their tools prior to purchase, and they actually couldn't help me at all. Makes me wonder why they have a dedicated Customer Service Hotline in the first place? All the attendant could say was, please go to one of our dealers. But I can't help it, Bosch does make some of the finest equipment around, and their warranty policy is the best I've ever encountered. Regardless though, its amazing how much you have to put up with in this country to get things done right.