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Friday, October 26, 2007

Home Depot Sucks

After careful review of all this week's posts it is clear that I am going to run out of material. I can not just keep this good stuff up for very long. Ben Franklin and his air baths, the "Dead Russian Composer Personality Test"? Project X, the Philadelphia Experiment, getting down with some culture in the form of a new Iguana Music playlist, my crazy theory about the water (or lack of it) situation, A Flock Of Seagulls, and words of my deeds reaching high places - all in one week.

How long can I keep all this good stuff up? Who knows.

So today I will write about why Home Depot SUCKS. Really. That place sucks.

I replaced the winch on the boat. No big deal. The old winch was fine - but I found a cool dual speed winch (4:1 and 12:1 gear ratios) that is rated for 2,500 pounds. The old winch was not rated for 2,500 pounds and had a ratio of 3.6:1 or something.

If I ever had to pull the boat on the trailer without powering it on, it would have been a bitch with the old winch. But with the 12:1 ratio gear on the new winch engaged, it would be a whole lot easier.

For those who are not so inclined, 12:1 means I have to turn the winch handle 12 times to bring the winch strap in one turn. 4:1 means I turn the handle 4 times to bring the winch strap in 1 turn. So why would I use the 12:1 gear? Mechanical advantage. Using the 12:1 ratio I get a lot more mechanical advantage than I would at 4:1. This means that by applying equal amounts of force to the winch handle, I can pull more weight using the 12:1 gear than the 4:1 gear.

Get it? Good. Cause I do not want to get all mathematical on you. OK fine I will get down with some math. Ill keep it simple.

Work = Force x Distance.

So lets say I need to do 1oo units of work to bring the boat up on the trailer. Using the 4:1 gear (fast retrieve) the math can be represented as such.

100 = Force x 4

Rearranging to solve for Force we get:

Force = 100/4 OR Force = 25.

So there. At the 4:1 gear ratio I would need to apply 25 units of force to do 100 units of work.

Now at 12:1 (the winch turns very slow) what would it look like?

100 = Force x 12
Force = 100/12
Force = 8.333333333 (or more exactly, 8 1/3)

So there. To do the same amount of work I have to apply 25 units of force to the handle using the 4:1 gear or 8 1/3 units of force to do the same amount of work using the 12:1 gear. This is what mechanical advantage is all about. So lets say each unit of force represents 10 pounds. Would you rather have a 4:1 winch (and have to apply 250 pounds to the handle) or a 12:1 winch and only have to apply 83 pounds to the winch handle? Of course the handle itself is a lever and gives you some more mechanical advantage - but whatever. You get the idea.

This new winch has both gears. I can use the 4:1 gear to bring the winch strap in fast, and when it gets hard to crank switch to the 12:1 gear to bring the boat up. I should be able to pull the boat up onto the trailer even if I can not power it on using the engine for whatever reason.

Anyway, to attach the strap to the winch I need a bolt. The strap has a loop at one end, you put the bolt through that loop then attach the bolt to the winch. Now when I crank the handle the strap just winds on the winch. Otherwise, it would slip.

So I go to Home Depot to buy a 3/8 bolt. This is the thickest diameter strap bolt that the winch can take.

And when I spooled the strap on and hooked it up to the boat and then applied some force to tighten the strap - the bolt started to bend.

What the crap? Ill tell you what - cheap garbage hardware from Home Depot. So I have to do what I should have done in the first place - go to the welding shop and see if they have some Grade 8 hardware. Or some hardened stainless steel. In short, I need the strongest 3/8 bolt I can get. And I will NOT find this at Home Depot. Because all you will find at Home Depot is cheap garbage unfit to build a birdhouse with.

In Miami-Dade County we have strict building codes. Even a birdhouse needs to be able to withstand a category 3 hurricane. And using Home Depot hardware - this is just not going to happen.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Ed Abbey said...

You really had me there for a second. You said the BOAT started to bend and I was all caught up with what had to go wrong for that to happen until I read the next paragraph and realized that you must have been referring to the BOLT.

The bolt must have been like a Grade 0 or something. I would have thought even a Grade 3 bolt would have done the job unless you had a long shank and huge moment from the strap on it. I have never bought a bolt at a box store like Home Depot so I don't know what Grade they typically stock.

06:52  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

They stock grade sucks ass.

15:30  
Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

Grade S.A. must be a notch or two below "0", just a wild guess.

Don't they have a good hardware store down there?

15:39  
Blogger Dusty said...

I bet you were pissed Dear Lazy. Home Depot does suck, even my son says that he won't buy tools there anymore.

I have to confess, I skipped the math portion of the post :P

16:22  
Blogger Scarlet Witch said...

So there. WTF?

21:39  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Emma - I think Home Depot stocks grade 2 hardware. It sucks. Do not buy it, for it sucks.

Dusty - I should have known better than to get Home Depot bulk hardware. Really, I should have known better. I do not know what I was thinking.

Scarlet - I will try to not be so math intensive in the future :)

23:56  
Blogger Cheesemeister said...

Home Depot does indeed suck. You can't find anything or anybody to help you with the stuff you can't find. Inventorying home depot sucks too. (I used to work for an inventory service.)

13:52  

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