It’s not just about effort. It’s about risk, and time. I already have one shoulder I can’t use for much. If I damage the other one, it’s a major problem. I also already have one permanently broken bone, in my hand. Fortunately, it’s the left hand, and I’m right-handed. Nonetheless, and even with something as minor as my little finger, if I even touch anything on that, the two bits of broken bone grind against each other, and believe me, it blooming hurts. The condition I have risks bone weakness, as that finger makes clear. The chemo risks even more bone weakness, which is why I take bone strengthening meds, which also have some not-fun effects on me. Imagine a broken shoulder, if a broken pinky is that painful.
If I end up with a broken shoulder, I will no doubt end up in hospital for surgery … or an immobilising cast. I really should have that pinky finger removed but, y’know, Covid and stuff. Another delightful part of the cancer is that it’s in my lungs too, so, hospital and surgery risks chest infection, and that, given my lungs, involves a not inconsiderable risk of coming out feet-first.
Until the next MRI scan, I won’t even know how successful the last round of radiotherapy was on the shoulder, and thus, won’t know how weakened it is.
The whole point of the leveler question was to avoid manual tamping. I get that my situation is far from normal, but even light tamping exerts pressure in places it’s probably best to avoid even light stresses, where possible. Some things aren’t avoidable, and I’ll have to deal with the consequences of that if/when anything happens, but tamping? It’s a risk I don’t need to take.
Yeah, Puqpress avoids it. If need be, so be it. But I’m not looking to spend money if not needed. If a leveler alone, without tamping, will do the job, then it’s worth looking at. At that point, I’ll need to find out (maybe by suck-it-and-see), if a cheap Chinese leveler will do it on it’s own or if there’s something about the design, maybe the weight, of the Jack, that means it works and they won’t.
Maybe I can get a clear answer to whether a leveler alone works just by asking, maybe not. Maybe someone has used both a Jack and cheap Chinese tampers and knows that either both work, one works or neither is sufficient, and why. Again, that’s why I’m asking.
In general, I agree about the learning process. My objective is to shortcut to a solution that works, not to mess with either tampers or levelers unless it looks viable. Everything I read suggests even something as apparently simple as tamping requires practice, experience, maybe muscle memory to get right, consistently. If I buy a cheap leveler, and a cheap tamper, and then spend a lot of time getting lousy shots, is it because the leveler isn’t working, because that cheap one isn’t but a Jack does (according to Marc) or because my tamping technique isn’t good enough? Or good enough, consistently.
Getting the puck prepared adequately isn’t an area I want to spend a lot of time on, if an easy solution is available, even if it’s an expensive easy solution. Roasting maybe, but tamping? No.
All of which brings me right back to whether leveling is, on it’s own, sufficient. If you use your cheap leveler and it requires you to then tamp, that suggests leveling with it on it’s own doesn’t work. Maybe the Jack does? Maybe something else, cheaper than the Jack, does? Maybe not. If so, I hope to find out before the Niche arrives otherwise it’ll sit here and I can’t use it. If not and I need a Puqpress, I’d rather just order and be done. But if there’s an alternative, I’d rather find out before I order.