Stanley Bought Craftsman

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REDONE
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Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:27 am

It happened. I don't know about Kenmore and Diehard, but Stanley bought Craftsman.

https://www.protoolreviews.com/news/900 ... man/27928/

This might be a good thing, or might all go to heck. Craftsman already gutted themselves by moving so much of their manufacturing to China, but there is speculation that Stanley might bring it back, especially with the current presidential focus on US manufacturing. It would be great for Craftsman to be the midrange tool they built their reputation on. Better than Chinese garbage you can buy at a grocery store but not as pricy as S-K or Snap-On. Stanley has to know that their names don't sell Chinese wrenches. Nobody buys a Chinese Stanley screwdriver if there's a Harbor Frieght on the way to go buy it. At the same time, they have to know that for decades people would drive past five home and garden stores (from Coast to Coast, to Ernst, to the current manifestation of Lowe's and HomeDepot) to get a Craftsman tool at Sears.

The way it all goes to heck is that Stanley didn't buy Craftsman to sell combo wrenches and screwdrivers. They bought Craftsman to sell yard tractors. They might (fairly probable) put the Craftsman name on their own Chinese wrenches and screwdrivers just to maintain brand recognition while they migrate their own name (DeWalt or Black&Decker) onto lawnmowers while the Craftsman name dies.

There's a lot of evidence to support both theories. First, Stanley has brought manufacturing back to the US (or at least out of China) is several segments. Lenox saw blades are mostly made in the US and Italy. DeWalt has opened 7 factories in the US in the last 5 years. They recognize that Chinese quality doesn't cut it in some areas for various reasons. At the same time, they've moved a ridiculous amount of manufacturing TO China. They already made Craftsman wrenches and ratchets, as well as Kobalt and Husky, all of which they first made in the US and then moved to China and Tiawan after renegotiating the contracts. MAC tools off the tool truck were also moved to China.

It'll be interesting to see, but I'll remain cautiously optimistic.
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
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Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:12 am

I think the days of value tools, tools which are reasonable quality at a decent price, are mostly over. Society has changed too much for it to be profitable. Our short term, disposable culture is pigeon holing the concept, if not simply killing it. Sad because it leaves only two real markets. The cheap (quality and somewhat price) junk from HF, HD, Lowes, etc, Or the very pricy stuff you get off the crack truck.
Craftsman did it to themselves so I don't feel any sympathy, just some sadness. I have a small collection of various tools my father bought back in the 70s from Sears. Good quality generally speaking, not far off the stuff he bought from Snap-on. But Sears failed to recognize that their return policy/guarantee began to be overused when 2 things happened. The first is people becoming less interested in quality and instead looking at price since if they can buy it cheap enough and it breaks they can throw it away and buy another. The other mistake was sending their manufacturing away. The quality tanked and they were still trying to ride the coat tails of the name CRAFTsman and retaining the warranty. A huge increase in returned,failed tools was a loss. The replacement tools, often now of junk quality, made the customer unhappy. Then they modified the return policy to try and stem the financial hemorrhage but only drove more customers away. And thanks to Sears overhead costs and shrinking customer base, we saw the rise of the cheap CHI-COM tool flood.
I am a middle of the road guy. Sure, if I was a lottery winner I'd probably buy 2 of everything from snap on/K-D/SK-BluePoint etc. But the reality is I look for the best deal on a decent quality tool and weight how often I will use it and if a cheaper version would suffice.
Some stuff is hard to splurge on. Jack stands, engine hoists, motor stands, hammers, consumables like grinding discs... all seem to be of acceptable quality from HF for far less money. Some things are dangerous or wasteful to buy from a cheap company. A quality DVOM/DMM is NOT something you want to purchase at HF. They truly are JUNK!
One thing I've been happily surprised with from the box store is my Milwaukee Fuel chord less tools. My old DeWalt stuff was used hard and dying a slow death. I purchased a fuel impact gun and was amazed. Catch it on sale and it's a true deal. Can't see Sears ever making a similar quality tool at the same price as it's offered at HD. Not really sure anything can bring back Sears, and Craftsman, glory days.


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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:13 am

A pop-up riddled article from Fortune magazine regarding the move of Craftsman branded tools back to the US. Uses the bussword "Re-Americanize" in an interview with a Stanley executive.
http://fortune.com/2017/01/05/stanley-b ... ker-trump/
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:44 am

I hear you Ted, but fortunately I think millennials are changing the trend. Baby Boomers were the disposable society. They inherited the post-war boom of American mass manufacturing and everything was cheap and good quality. BUT, they've also had to endure the gas crisis of the 70s, the recession of the 80s, and the mega-recession of the late 2000s, all of which pushed them to consider price over quality. My generation (Gen X) had to learn the lesson the hard way because we followed our parents example (then watch their 401Ks and pensions turn to dust in a flash). The next rung down is changing the rules of capitalism. They don't want to buy something unless they really need it. But if they buy it, they want it to be forever. They won't buy a car of any kind at any price, but they'll pay $400 for a jacket made of recycled dog turds by an ex drug addict paid $20 a hour.

At the same time, boomers aren't buying tools anymore. They pay a guy to cut their grass, they take their car to the dealer for work. They're headed to the golden years of recreation over labor, it's Gen X and millennials buying tools now. Both these generations want tools US made tools.

With Gen X, we still want US quality to mean something. We want to be proud of our tools.

With millennials, they care about the global impact of the things they buy. They know it's not "big picture" cheap to bring something from China to the US. That's a lot of fuel being burned. So if the price of the thing they buy includes the cost of all that fuel to move it and the raw materials to make it, what's left for the people that actually did the work? They recognize that a global manufacturing economy is dependent on excess pollution and slave labor.

That said business is still run by bankers, and bankers will still lie, cheat and steal to make a dollar. Especially when they continue to do so over and over without any repercussions. That's why I'm "cautiously" optimistic.
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:54 am

I hear ya sir and truly hope you're right about the millennials (and whatever comes after them). One could only hope for a successful blend of hands on/common sense to be grafted to these "youngsters" who are so often tech savvy. I'm sure it's a difficult balance but I am also reservedly optimistic. We have a few millennials in my automotive class. One in particular, a kid who did a few years in the Marines, is a computer geek 1st class. He is killing the electrical class (not surprisingly) but is totally lost in the sauce when it comes to hands on, actual mechanical work. But he's in school and learning. He WANTS to know how to do stuff, not simply YouTube his way through life. I give him props for that and hope more of his generation would do the same. Who knows... if enough of them would actually get on board, maybe we could turn this train wreck in progress nation around.
'Merca!!


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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:11 am

Totally! My wife and I are only three years apart, but by difference of upbringing the contrast between Gen X (1979) and millennial (1982) is clear.

I was born to a trucker and a restaurant hostess in the middle of the country (Grand Junction), she was born on the west coast and both her parents were foresters for the gubmint. My dream was to make the big bucks as a diesel mechanic and joined the military to make that happen. Hers was to go to college and clean up all the pollution in the world. When we work on projects together (like a huge landscaping thing we're doing right now), she is a logistical and design genius! She managed to cut the cost for a giant planter box from $2000 down to $1100, by comparing board lengths and venders and such. When she does stuff like that I truely feel like I'm just the muscle, but I feel validated when I get to toss in a real-world wisdom nugget like "should we use stove bolts or 10 penny nails to put it together?" 8-)

We're going with stove bolts, the black will look better with the stained cedar, even after it rusts.

EDIT>>> To add and get back on topic; when we moved in together she had a little toolbox. It was full of US made Craftsman tools and an impossibly dense collection of spare IKEA parts.
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:21 am

Haha... I hear ya. Mine is the smarter half for sure but only good for the bare minimum manual labor.

Why not go with the stove bolts and simply use some black bedliner on the exposed heads? Which is cheaper?


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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:34 am

Stove bolts are just black oxide carriage bolts, so the rationality I used was that the cedar is going to age. The new black oxide will look appropriate with the new cedar, and the rust will look right when the cedar greys out. Ten penny nails are hot dip galvanized and will look crummy new and old. I showed her what the 10 year old nails in our retaining wall looked like and she agreed. Price was comparable, about $0.30 a fastener bought in bulk, but while the bolts require drilling a hole, hammering a 3/8" diameter nail through 5 inches of wood creates a lot of opportunity to smash up the pretty wood with a hammer.
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:48 am

REDONE wrote:Stove bolts are just black oxide carriage bolts, so the rationality I used was that the cedar is going to age. The new black oxide will look appropriate with the new cedar, and the rust will look right when the cedar greys out. Ten penny nails are hot dip galvanized and will look crummy new and old. I showed her what the 10 year old nails in our retaining wall looked like and she agreed. Price was comparable, about $0.30 a fastener bought in bulk, but while the bolts require drilling a hole, hammering a 3/8" diameter nail through 5 inches of wood creates a lot of opportunity to smash up the pretty wood with a hammer.
Having done my fair share of retaining walls I can say that driving spikes into landscape timbers (or worse, RR ties) without predrilling a hole... sucks!!
I agree with the black bolts on cedar aging while looking better, just wondered if it was cheaper to buy standard galvanized carriage bolts and then zap em with a touch of black paint or bedliner?


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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:57 am

Gotcha! The few dealers I priced out charged more for the galvanized over the black oxide (although only a fraction of a penny in bulk), but appearance was more heavily weighted than cost. New it will look more steampunk-ish and old it will look more forgotten farm equipment-ish. :)

To stay remotely garage related, I'm teaching her to love the garage young!
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79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:11 am

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by ShagWagon » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:05 pm

So how is this supposed to work?

We buy steel from China and make expensive labor chitty chinga tools with it in the USA?

We need to make our own better steel, but nobody wants the huge enviro damage associated with that.
87 Grand Wagoneer Rebuilt 360 by S&J, Fitech GO EFI 600, Novak in-tank fuel pump, Skyjacker Hydro 4" lift, BFG AT KO2 30", Dynamax Muffler, MSD distributor, MSD ignition, Edlebrock perf 4bbl intake, Elgin perf cam, Oil tube mod, Roller rockers, chrome molly lifters, HD alum radiator, Powermaster 150/100 alt, Alum HD water pump, Serhills tailgate harness, Cowl screen mod, Evil Twin grab handles, Rstep's custom AMC door lock knobs, all electrical works.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:22 pm

ShagWagon wrote:So how is this supposed to work?

We buy steel from China and make expensive labor chitty chinga tools with it in the USA?

We need to make our own better steel, but nobody wants the huge enviro damage associated with that.

I know you're angry and rightfully so, but you got the story backwards. The US forges use US steel almost exclusively right now, like they always have. What steel we import is because of trade agreements. While we don't export steel at the rate we used to, we still make more than enough for our own domestic needs and export the rest to Mexico and Canada. US steel production is down because China has driven us out of the international market. Funny enough, they're using our steel to do it too. Remember 5-10 years ago when they were paying above market value for our steel and buying every scrap of it they could? Yup, pure bold-faced market manipulation.

US foundries would have no problem supplying US forges should the demand go up, and I really hope it does!
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by Tatsadasayago » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:04 am

Not to mention the Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese steel is often of poor quality and either too hard, too soft or brittle.
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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:40 am

So true. I was going to speculate that better equipment like vacuum furnaces and analysis instruments is why, but the same vacuum furnaces and spectrology sensors are available in those other countries too. Truth is, regardless of the how, pride is why US steel is better. You can look at the US made A36 steel in an actual steel yard and then look at the imported A36 in a box store (The black iron pipe at HD is labeled A36) and the difference is obvious. Cold rolled vs hot rolled (shiny smooth vs ripply), burn-off shellac vs black spray paint, etc.

For snickers and grins I took a walk through Sears yesterday. I'm almost positive that my sears is on the chopping block. "Hiring" signs everywhere, but they clearly show the job is commission so "The sky is the limit!", haha! No customers=no commissions, so they are definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel for employees. Last year I tricked my wife into letting me buy an new roll-away so I could "clean up the garage" and I got a Craftsman made by waterloo in the US. Obviously not as beefy as my work box (made in MI, but don't know the actual manufacturer), but that box is for work and the Craftsman is just for my garage. I quit my job to stay home with my daughter and go back to school, so now I have both in the garage. Man, I'm really off in the weeds, aren't I?

So back to Sears. I've been missing a 3/4" 12pt combo from a set for a few years now. Every time I go in there I check to see if they have one made in the US and they never do. They are still getting new wrenches made in the US from somewhere, mixed in with the Chinese ones, but not the one that I need. Also my 5/16" nut driver (the yellow one that fits almost every hose clamp) is about worn out. They have US made sets, but the onesy-twosy singles are all Chinese. BUT I did find a US tool that I've been thinking about for a while. My Craftsman prybars are getting pretty old. The red handles have faded to pink and the bars feel really springy, probably because I've become a super strong, muscly pinnacle of male virility (or I'm just so much fatter than I used to be). The US made three bar set was $25 so I picked it up.

A fun tidbit for used-tool hunters, the "Craftsman Professional" handtools were S-K, and a lot still are. When they replaced the "Professional" with "full polish" is when they went Chinese, but to be fair that's also when S-K filed bankruptcy. If you look at their "professional" handled tools, you can see they're visually identical to S-K, except being red where the S-K is green. The problem is that they share the design license, so Craftsman is making them in China, while S-K is all US again. Hunting for used tools, if you find older Craftsman professional, it's more than likely that it's actually S-K.

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79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.


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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by ShagWagon » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:31 am

I bought a fridge from sears.

Every six months or so a light comes on and says "change water filter".

They want $120.00 for a water filter.

Miraculously if you unplug the fridge then you get a new water filter for more six months.

I bought a stove for $400 new.

About a year later a capacitor went out on the main board and two burners wouldn't work.

They wanted $325 for a new main board.

I had an old stereo amplifier that had the same one luckily.
87 Grand Wagoneer Rebuilt 360 by S&J, Fitech GO EFI 600, Novak in-tank fuel pump, Skyjacker Hydro 4" lift, BFG AT KO2 30", Dynamax Muffler, MSD distributor, MSD ignition, Edlebrock perf 4bbl intake, Elgin perf cam, Oil tube mod, Roller rockers, chrome molly lifters, HD alum radiator, Powermaster 150/100 alt, Alum HD water pump, Serhills tailgate harness, Cowl screen mod, Evil Twin grab handles, Rstep's custom AMC door lock knobs, all electrical works.

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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:46 am

ShagWagon wrote:I bought a fridge from sears.

Every six months or so a light comes on and says "change water filter".

They want $120.00 for a water filter.

Miraculously if you unplug the fridge then you get a new water filter for more six months.

I bought a stove for $400 new.

About a year later a capacitor went out on the main board and two burners wouldn't work.

They wanted $325 for a new main board.

I had an old stereo amplifier that had the same one luckily.
Haha! In the garage display area they have a super dumb, bare-bones "shop refrigerator", that has FAKE diamond plate on the doors only for $1100. :P
Ooh! Here's a link, the price dropped!: http://www.searsoutlet.com/d/product_de ... oCfFDw_wcB
Kenmore appliances are made by Maytag under license. Craftsman Kenmore Diehard (CKD) was a single division of Sears Holdings last year, so now that Craftsman has been split off and sold to Stanley Black&Decker, I doubt that Kenmore and Diehard have a future.
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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tedlovesjeeps71
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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:58 am

Was watching the news yesterday and they actually had a piece on Sears. Seems the company is looking at filing bankruptcy in the next year or so. They interviewed some of the NewYawkers who were sad because Sears Roebuck & Co was such an icon.
Guess they will go the way of these guys soon. ☹️
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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by REDONE » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:07 am

Like Coast to Coast and Ernst up above, or Woolworths, Mountain Bell, and FAO Schwarz. Even AMC. Maybe it's good that we're returning to a time when things can't be "too big to fail". I just hope it applies to banks too. ;)

I'll miss Sears when it's gone, but not as much as the house and VA loan benefits Wells Fargo stole from me in 2010.

EDIT>>> To add how amazed I was to see an 84 Lumber commercial during the superbowl! I hadn't seen an 84 Lumber since I left Grand Junction in 1997! The fact they're still around AND doing well enough to have a superbowl commercial blew my mind!
79 J-10 (Honcho Mucho) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s&4.10s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

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tedlovesjeeps71
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Re: Stanley Bought Craftsman

Post by tedlovesjeeps71 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:22 am

Lots of nostalgic places I miss that would be nice to see return. I remember when Dairy Queen had good food and the people who owned it were not foreigners who got into the franchise to take advantage of the years of tax exemptions while making money. Handing it off to a new relative when the exemption expires.


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