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Thread: Scott shop towels, old vs new

  1. #1
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    Scott shop towels, old vs new

    In the thread in General Woodworking "What happened to blue Scott shop towels?", https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....21#post3139521
    Mark Mcfarlane asked if anyone noticed a differentce in Scott shop towels in the last year.

    I didn't buy any a year ago but I did buy some about six years ago. As I was down do my last unopened roll I ordered some more from Amazon and compared an unopened roll from 2015 to one from 2021.

    01.jpg 02.jpg

    My quick and not scientifically-rigorous observations on the differences between the earlier and the current Scott towels:

    Weight, without plastic wrap:
    2015: 350 grams
    2021: 315 grams

    Labeling on the packaging informed a change in total product area:
    2015: 4.0 sq meters
    2021: 3.7 sq meters

    Advertised size of each sheet:
    2015: 264 mm
    2021: 239 mm

    Measured size of the first sheet from each roll (may not be typical):
    2015: 275 mm
    2021: 235 mm

    I measured the thickness of a sheet from each package using a micrometer with a calibrated pressure. Both varied considerably over the sheet but both were close to the same.

    The cost, bought in 30 roll quantity from AMAZON, essentially the same cost per roll for smaller rolls:
    2015: $1.99 per roll adjusted for inflation, 2021 dollars
    2021: $1.98 per roll

    Number of sheets per roll:
    2015: 55
    2021: 55

    Cost per advertised square meter of product:
    2015: 49.8 cents adjusted for inflation, 2021 dollars
    2021: 53.5 cents

    It's probably a coincidence but interesting that the width of a 2021 towel is reduced by about the same percentage as the inflation since 2015.

    Both indicate they are "Made in USA of U.S. and/or non-U.S. materials." "Made" could mean anything: they could buy bulk towel material made anywhere and cut, roll, and package in the US.

    Softness: Neither are as soft as the paper towels I prefer for many shop tasks.
    The "old" Scott towels definitely feel softer to the touch than those I received today. This is not a problem for me since I usually don't use them for applying/wiping finish. I mostly use the Scott towels around farm and vehicle equipment while changing oil, greasing the tractor and such.

    So yes, Mark. I suspect Scott Brand has changed both their material and processing.

    Bottom line: quality down, cost up.

    Could be worse!

    JKJ

  2. #2
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    Someone has too much time on his hands. 😁

  3. #3
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    John, appreciate your efforts . . .but am a bit surprised you have that much free time on the farm. To put that last part in context, i am always impressed (and personally disheartened) with the amount of things you get done with the farm, the mentoring of the next generation, the animals, turning, posting here, etc, etc, etc.

    Back to the original subject matter, I was not even aware of the Wypall towels mentioned in that thread. NOT suggesting you do a side-by-side, but am curious for feedback from people here that have used both.

  4. #4
    ...'that much free time'... lol.. I'll bet it took him 15 minutes
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    ...'that much free time'... lol.. I'll bet it took him 15 minutes
    Well, perhaps, but it would take many of us that much time to create a clear spot on the bench to do the test . . . .

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCarthy View Post
    John, appreciate your efforts . . .but am a bit surprised you have that much free time on the farm. ..
    Had extra time today! Itís been pouring rain which puts a damper on outdoor stuff, finished minimum feed and water chores early then I had some time between fixing breakfast and lunch. The Lovely Bride was between her reading and rest periods (kind of mobility limited after foot surgery last week) so when the case of Scotts was delivered I was curious if there was a difference. Had everything at hand so it didnít take long, probably took more time to take the pictures and look up the inflation rate than it did to do the numbers!

    Iíve spent the afternoon goofing off myself, with hours of reading. Now headed out with a rain jacket and umbrella to check on the horses - moved the new mare into the pasture with the blind gelding yesterday then noticed him standing in the rain this morning while she was hogging the shelter! Iíve been doing a lot of horse juggling lately while they all establish their dominance order. Heís in his own protected place now but has no pasture - have to take food to him! Then have to check on the little peacocks before time to fix supper. Never a dull moment! (It does wear me out sometimes though, seems like I had a lot more energy back when I was 70 )

    JKJ

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCarthy View Post
    Well, perhaps, but it would take many of us that much time to create a clear spot on the bench to do the test . . . .
    Oh man, can I ever relate to that! I have too many days when I don't have anything pressing to do and I tell myself, just go down to the shop and put things away.

    Oh man again. What a perfect example of a poorly constructed sentence. Re-Do: On the few days when I don't have anything pressing to do, I tell myself, just go down to the shop and put things away.

    Back on topic- maybe 8 years ago I bought a lifetime supply of Scott towels so I can't relate to the new ones. Still have more than a dozen left.

    So- sorry for wasting everyone's time.

    Wait a sec. A lifetime supply and I'm down to a bakers dozen??????

  8. #8
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    I just bought a box after a year of going through 24 rolls. Definitely less soft. I specifically ought them because of how they work when applying CA finish on the lathe. I noticed that the new Scott towels are definitely less soft and more abrasive, just like every other brand.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCarthy View Post
    Well, perhaps, but it would take many of us that much time to create a clear spot on the bench to do the test . . . .
    This is indicative of a different topic / problem
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  10. #10
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    I live in the City and find piles of used clothing dumped in parking lots all the time, most of which are dirty soiled children's clothing. I happen to find these as a gold mine for shop towels. Free, T-Shirt Material, Lint Free, Cotton, and well, just perfect. I have two 40 gallon plastic drums of this so-called trash, and honestly they are hard to get rid of and hard to beat. I launder and reuse about half of them and still have a huge supply. I can't imagine buying shop towels.
    Regards,

    Tom

  11. #11
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    I just got some from Home Depot. I notice a peculiar chemical odor.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    I just got some from Home Depot. I notice a peculiar chemical odor.
    I never thought to do a smell test!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCarthy View Post
    Well, perhaps, but it would take many of us that much time to create a clear spot on the bench to do the test . . . .
    That can be a problem!

    When I bought a new roll-around tool box it came with a feature I've never seen before: a pull-out work table. It's over 32" wide and made from glued-up hardwood about 5/8" thick, hinged to access a good-sized drawer space below. I keep some of the tools I don't use as much in that drawer.

    toolbox_work_shelf_20210901_133013.jpg

    What an amazingly useful thing! At other tool boxes I was forever pulling out a drawer in an adjacent tool box just to give me a kind of flat spot to work on small things. This pull-out work surface is perfect for a zillion quick jobs, like checking and changing batteries, working on carburetors and such, electronics, and of course, comparing rolls of paper towels. As long as I don't keep IT junked up, there is always a clean workspace handy in the middle of the shop!

    Maybe a lot of the larger tool boxes come with these now but when shopping this was the only one I saw.

    JKJ

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