Hardware Hawaiʻi

I write at this beautiful standing desk thanks to the smart, friendly people at Hardware Hawaiʻi.

Well, and my wife, who built it, but she’d say that Hardware Hawaiʻi deserves some of the credit too.

We started buying supplies for the desk at one of the ginormous chain hardware stores. That was a mistake.

At one big box store, we wandered the lumber department, looking for the wood sizes we needed. What we really needed was for someone to help us, but after five minutes of aimless meandering, we left.

At another hardware giant, we asked the worker in the tools department if they carried a pocket hole jig. This is a pretty basic tool in woodworking, but the employee at the desk didn’t know what it was. He thought it had something to do with installing a lock. We left. Our next stop was Hardware Hawaiʻi.

What a difference. When we got out of the car, we saw some lumber stacked up at the edge of the parking lot. We walked over to it and in less than 30 seconds a worker appeared to help us.

He asked what our project was. We told him.

“Oh, you don’t want this wood,” he said. “This is for exterior projects.” Another defeat for us. “The wood you want is inside—I’ll walk you there.” Success!

The worker marched us through the parking lot, through the sliding doors, way to the back of the store. He looked at the list of sizes we needed, and pointed out where they were. He even recommended a wood type (fir), which we chose and which turned out beautifully, as you can see.

Then, he left it up to us to pick the pieces of wood we liked. We piled our picks on a cart and headed toward the counter.

There, we asked another worker about the elusive pocket hole jig. This guy didn’t hesitate for a second. “Right over there on aisle six!”

So we had our pocket jig and our wood, and were heading outside to get the wood cut to size, when the “pocket jig” worker called out to us. “Hey wait!”

One of the pieces we’d picked had a long crack. We hadn’t noticed it. That crack probably would’ve ruined our project. He pointed it out just as we were about to pay, and saved the day.

We went back to Hardware Hawaiʻi a few more times as the project progressed—to buy little things like tack cloth and screws, and more important things like stain and an electric sander.

Every single time, a friendly person greeted us as we walked in, and asked if they could help. Most times, they could. We’re total converts.

As I finish this, I realize it reads like a big ‘ol ad, or like my close family member owns the place. I promise you that’s not true. If I seem enthusiastic, it’s simply because: Isn’t there something satisfying about a Hawaiʻi-owned business running circles around the big guys?

table made with materials and help from hardware hawaii