An overdue shout out to Wayne at Lowe’s #0488! Wayne greatly expedited my
search for a basic replacement faucet last month. Almost without looking he
went to the display board-of-many-parts-and grabbed the exact supply valve
brass cap I needed. Normally this task alone could be a ten minute search
through row after row of obscure gaskets, connectors, elbows and couplings.
But he knew EXACTLY where the correct package could be found.

But the real help came when he explained the $20.00 difference between identical
packages with Faucet #A and Faucet #B. Turns out the latest, greatest generic
faucets come from the factory with supply tubes already installed. So,
paradoxically the more expensive faucet was by far the best value since
accessory supply tubes would not need to be purchased or assembled!

This kind of fine detailed assistance can only come from a guy who REALLY knows
his plumbing inventory. It made my day! Thanks Wayne!

Reminds me of the great experience I had with the Sears Craftsman Tool Warranty.


Or the Ace Hardware Vintage Replacement Valve Stem


Authentic vintage 1975 Sadlack Tee Shirt

Authentic vintage 1975 Sadlack Tee Shirt

Wow! Sadlack’s is officially history!

Back in 1975 when Dr. Frank Sadlack took possession of
a quintessential Southern Mom-and-Pop corner cafe equipped
with little round stools in front of a black laminate counter
with snap on metal trim where the Sheriff came for coffee and
sticky buns, a real sandwich shop was quite the innovation
for Raleigh.

Raleigh was still a pretty sleepy place where the streets rolled
up at sunset and Edwards Grocery Store at the corner of
Oberlin and Hillsborough had enough foot traffic from NC State
students to make a decent income from the sale of canned goods
and fresh fruit and toothpaste.

In those days restaurants were few and far between in Wake county
and health inspectors had enough time to come around to inspect each
individually once a month.

Food scraps were dumped into a 55 gallon trash can and collected
by a local hog farmer to feed his livestock.

Frank Sadlack thought Hillsborough Street was ready for a full
fledged sandwich shop to serve the students and clerical staff
over on campus and by gosh was he ever right! With fresh bread
baked daily at Cameron Village Bakery to his super secret
proprietary specification and cold cut meats sliced super thin
deli style onsite in the back room his Submarine Sandwich was the
talk of the town. Assembled while you waited with fresh lettuce,
tomatos, onions, a squirt of mayonnaise or mustard, and sprinkled
with a pepper can filled with an eclectic mixture of spices his
sandwiches caught the imagination of administrator and undergraduate

Soon there were two separate phone lines at the end of the counter used
to take delivery orders to campus dormitories. State workers
from downtown would pick up lunch orders for their entire office.

Visitors who stayed at the John Yancy Motel had but to cross the street
to get a good hearty sandwich which they could eat in their room or
outside the shop under the stars at one of half a dozen concrete
picnic tables.

Then came Frank’s next idea- bagels. Fresh from New Yawk City some guy
in a big vintage Cadillac filled his trunk with bags of bagels when
he made a business trip every week. Bagels and cream cheese, who the
heck had ever eaten anything like that? They weren’t donuts and they
weren’t sandwiches. They were something completely different.

And THEN came cheese cake. $1.25 per thin slice back in 1975! Baked
by a wild cat entrepreneur who rented pizza ovens from a pizza shop
down the street at 4 AM these cheesecakes were the real deal.
Real Philadelphia Cream Cheese, real butter, real graham cracker crust,
there was nothing else like it in the city or probably even the State.

Sure, nowadays a fella can go to Subway or Quisno’s or Which Wich and
get fine fare of the sandwich variety but Frank was the first in Raleigh
and he was a genuine original.

Hasta la vista Sadlack’s Heroes!


In an era of central air conditioning and sealed window high rise buildings, the staff here at the International Headquarters was all aflutter when a genuine screen door repair appeared on the job shop task board.

Not just any screen door either, this is a vintage 7 foot tall screen door in service for at least 50 years. Could not tell you whether people were taller in the good ole days, but their doors sure were.

In fact, size may be what kept this door in service all these years since the cost of a custom jobshop aluminum storm door is pretty certainly astronomical no matter the era of the estimate.

In any case, the old moulding withstood removal and reattachment and the screen looked as taut and new as it probably did fifty odd years ago.

Check out the original full mortise box latch installed in the 1 1/2 inch thick stile. Your Grandfather was a precise, patient and meticulous man when he cut that slot into the door with hand powered drills and chisels back in the day. It appears to have the original trimplate screws on one side. (The other side, not so much!)

Like most Wood Whisperers, I have an assortment of Sears Craftsman wrenches and hand tools in my toolbox and around the shop–some of which have been with me from Day One.

I cannot remember any wrenches that have ever quit on me….until the other day.

After 30 some years my trusty 3/8 ratchet wrench would not switch gears!

As it happened, I remembered the famous Craftsman Lifetime Warranty:

“If it breaks …ever…..Sears will repair or replace it free.”

Now for the first time in my life I wondered exactly what that promise meant.

Was it worth my time and energy to go to the local shopping mall and get pummeled about the head and shoulders by some sales clerk for a $10.00 wrench?

I braced for impact and decided to give it a shot!

Wow! The entire transaction took 3 and 1/2 minutes and that includes the time it took to walk to and from the parking lot to my truck!

No kidding!

They had an entire box of refurbished tools under the counter.

The sales clerk examined my wrench with the Craftsman Logo stamped deeply into the handle, confirmed the damage and found a nearly exact copy from the replacement box.

He ran the transaction through the cash register and I was on my way!

Just WOW!

One for the record books!

I was giddy for the rest of the afternoon! (Yeah, I am easily amused.)