An Ethical question

Forum: Power Tools

I have a lady friend that likes to do woodworking. As she does not have many tools, likes to come over and use my tools. My principle is that it is under my supervision, which is ok by her. When it comes to sharp tools I want to be there, say saws etc. When it comes to sanders I will let her do it on her own. Same with drill motors.
The other day she used a sander without a sanding pad on it and and managed to sand the velcro hook off the pad itself so now the pad will not except the sanding discs. The sander is no longer available so it is useless. Yes it is old but was in good working order.

My question is whether I should chalk this up to my experience or ask her to pay some of the cost?


Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.


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6 Replies

lightweightladylefty ...


Is she paying you anything to use your tools? If not, I would think that you would be entitled to a replacement. If you were allowing me to use your tools without cost, I would want to buy you a new one or fix yours for you!

Can you just purchase the hook side of the Velcro and replace it? Adhesive packages of hook & loop are available in numerous sizes.


Brian ...

I replaced the pad on my sander, but it wasn’t very old. It’s worth looking into.

I would say if it’s the first mistaken destruction of property, then I’d let it go, but if there’s a pattern I’d ask for replacement. Maybe she can find a used one in a swap sheet.

a1jim ...

I’ve had students do the same thing but I feel like I should have warned them that can happen and that they should make sure there’s sandpaper on the sander and that it would ruin the sander if there’s no sandpaper on the sander. I felt since I did not make her aware of the possibility of damage, replacing the sanding pad was on me. If you feel like she should know that she damaged your sander tell her and if she offers to contribute towards a new sander accept her offer. Other wise I’d let it go.

MJCD ...


I’ve done this several times… I’m not thinking, pickup the sander (an expensive Mirka, no less), and ‘sanded’ for a few minutes before realizing what I’ve done. I agree with both Brian and a1jim.
Having said this, I’m very careful about who I let use my powertools and equipment. The simple fact is that woodworking is dangerous – Life can come at you fast.

Bentlyj ...

1st question: Are you single?
2nd question: How does she look?
3rd question, (regardless of first 2 questions)
Probably chalk it up to experience. Try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The sander was old anyway, good excuse to buy a Mirka. :)

RobsCastle ...

Oh Bentlyi there is always one in every crowd…ha ha I was expecting it!

May be she was from Ramsleyswoodworking and a looker to boot

1. Any way my take on it all would be if I was single and she was interested I would try to follow it up somewhat.
2. No doubt she is otherwise why would you try in the first place.

Now Madts:-

I tend to agree with the blokes…sorry leftie, however I do agree an offer is a nice gesture, as its an admittance of their mistake, but as Jim said may have been due to lack of knowledge.

So as we have all"screwed up" somewhere along the line be it big or small I still think encouraging the dieing wood work craft is worth it, as long as the misakes are not repeated too often.

I remember one time I was building Cubby houses for a struggling company and split a piece of Red Cedar cladding highly visible at the front the boss was furious.