New Products at Woodcraft Show a Change

woodcraftWoodcraft Supply LLC caught a rash of criticism in recent years for introducing tools that were Chinese-made copies of current American-made tools. First Woodcraft started carrying hammers that were obvious copies of the Glen-Drake hammers. Then the company introduced its line of WoodRiver handplanes that were – in my opinion – merely imported copies of Lie-Nielsen planes.

This copying lead to some hand-tool makers severing their ties with Woodcraft – most notably Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. And there have been some hard feelings and behind-the-scenes grumbling about Woodcraft, which for years carried the hand-tool banner when few other companies would.

Now I don’t have inside information on Woodcraft. I’m just a hand-tool customer and observer – I’m no longer a woodworking journalist. But recently I’ve noticed that Woodcraft has been coming out with hand tool products that aren’t just copies of other tools that are in production by competitors. It’s refreshing to see this. So I want to encourage the behavior and tip my hat to them.

Earlier this year I saw two new spokeshaves from Woodcraft under the Pinnacle name that showed real spirit. The shaves are based on the venerable Stanley 151 platform, but the company has made them out of stainless. That’s a new thing. And they look like they are based on original patterns – not just cast copies of someone else’s tool.

I have yet to try the shaves (I have two spokeshaves already), but I definitely will test drive them next time I’m in my local Woodcraft.

Also notable: Woodcraft has recently released its new No. 92 shoulder plane under the WoodRiver name. While this shoulder plane shares DNA with the fantastic and extinct Preston shoulder plane line, Woodcraft made the tool its own by improving the design a bit by adding an adjustable toe. The company also added some stylistic details marking it as its own.

It’s a 3/4”-wide plane, which wouldn’t be my first choice for a shoulder plane, but it still looks pretty good and is definitely not a copy.

Perhaps this is a trend or the work of Jody Garrett, who was named the new president of the company in May 2012. Or perhaps I’m just grasping at straws. In either case, I hope Woodcraft continues on this course by adding diversity to the hand-tool market instead of just copying the successful designs of others.

— Christopher Schwarz

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71 Responses to New Products at Woodcraft Show a Change

  1. Jack Palmer says:

    Sounds promising but if they’re made in China I wouldn’t buy them no matter how well made and original they are.

    • rbohn says:

      Currently, the Chinese/Mexicans/whomever are being challenged to improve their products to compete with LN/LV/others who make very high quality tools. If we don’t support the quality tool makers now, do you think the off-shore boys will continue to make better quality tools if they succeed in destroying LN/LV? Nope, they will be able to lower the product quality. Then where will we be? Support the folks who are sincerely part of our craft.

      I am in my sixties and have just started down the slippery slope. I feel that the extra investment not only provides great customer service in a world that has forgotten what that means, but I feel that I am preserving the manufacturing of quality tools for myself.
      and everyone that follows.

      I have purchased planes and chisels from LN and have made some decisions that were uninformed at the time. LN has graciously provided refunds or different tools, even if they have been used. Sure I paid top dollar for my tools, but I don’t have any tools that sit on a shelf and laugh at me every time I walk into my shop.

      • michalofsky says:

        so i ponder the following question
        why cant china and mex etc make tools at the same level of quality?
        are they not competent?
        thats hard to believe
        why cant they compete with the same quality or better at the lower hourly wage?
        what am i missing?

  2. joemcglynn says:

    I hate people that rip-off product designs. I had my own business for about 8 years that sold a range of parts I designed, several of which were ripped off and made in Asia. The cost to develop a new product, including foundry patterns, prototypes, machining fixtures and so forth is not insignificant.

  3. B. L. Davis says:

    Refreshing indeed! While I don’t expect anything groundbreaking in the hand tool world, it is very nice to see new (apparently) quality tools available. I agree with Jack that I would not personally purchase a Chinese made plane, but if it gets others into the craft, I’m all for it. I’m sure Woodcraft did their homework; there is obviously a market.

  4. Carroll says:

    In my opinion WoodCraft is a destructive group in our industry. We should send all business to the honest folk who trying to keep cratsmanship alive. They bought the JWW and let all employees go, they opened a shop in Houston and destroyed the Cutting Edge—-and the list goes on.

  5. sablebadger says:

    I saw that shoulder plane in a recent catalog and was consumed by tool lust. The design details are hot rod Hot. Unfortunately I just purchased a Veritas shoulder plane (and couldn’t be happier with it, i love the little flip over handle)

    I know Woodcraft got some heat for the copies, and they had to update and fix a bunch of quality issues right out of the gate, but one way to look at it is that there is enough demand now for these kinds of tools. That’s a good thing, as more and more people are getting into the hand tool stuff.

    I hope Woodcraft continues the trend of quality tools that are of their own design. I’m not totally convinced they were total rip offs to begin with, and it’s a shame they can’t make them over here.

    My money typically goes to Lee Valley, or in rare cases Lie Neilson, but I would consider a Woodriver tool to be in the mix these days.

  6. Sam I Am says:

    The only tools I buy there anymore are Pfeil carving chisels.
    It really upsets me that a new guy coming into woodworking get’s stuck with a crap tool, unknowingly…
    http://giantcypress.net/post/1487152382/overheard-conversation-at-a-lie-nielsen-hand-tool

  7. Kerry says:

    I own a bunch of LN stuff and a few Woodriver planes. Aren’t they both patterned after Stanley’s bedrock model? Why is it okay for Lie-Nielsen to copy almost everything they sell after Stanley’s designs, but not okay for Woodcraft to do the same? Just sayin’… someone enlighten me.

    • Carroll says:

      Woodcraft’s repos are junk!

      • James says:

        I’m a 61 year old Luddite who owns and uses LN, Veritas (most of my planes) and Woodrivers’ #3 & #5. The WR’s work just as hard as the others and required no more fettling than the others. Check for flat and square body and flat frog. Hone to a radius and get to work. We live in a global world and if I can get what looks like a Quangsheng relabeled as WR (check Furniture & Cabinetmaking) at what is a fair price so I can put groceries on the table, so be it.

    • dave moore says:

      I was about to ask the same question as Kerry.

      Do lie-nielsen pay royalties to Stanley for using their designs? If not, I can’t understand objections to the Chinese versions

    • The issue is that LN has been building and nurturing this tiny nich market for years. They along with a few others pioneered the hand tool market before there was any hint of profitability. Now that it has become more established, it’s easy to jump in and under cut their prices with off shore rip offs.
      It can be easy to misunderstand who copied who in this case, but I challenge you to do a quick search. You will easily find an article comparing a Stanley vs. LN vs. WoodRiver. The comparison is overwhelming that they copied directly off the LN, NOT Stanley. Also search out a pic of the original WR block plane. Stanley never ever made a plane like that.
      But LN did.

      Chris
      I know this is not what you wanted from this post, but I’ll not be swayed by their minuscule token effort. If they ever want me to set foot in their store again, they will need to make a public apology, and remove their rip off lines from their shelves.
      I won’t be offended if you delete my post.

      Happy New Year

    • lostartpress says:

      If you have owned Bed Rocks and Lie-Nielsens, then you know there is a huge difference. Lie-Nielsen took old defunct designs and improved them (which is what Woodcraft has done with its new shoulder plane and shaves). What Woodcraft did with its WoodRiver planes was send Lie-Nielsens to China to photocopy them And they did copy them – casting flaws and all.

      In my book – and my book only – it’s OK to take defunct old designs and improve them (Stanley hasn’t made Bed Rocks since the 1940s). It’s not cool to copy a competitor’s current model. You may not agree. That’s fine. But that’s the way I see it.

      • Kees says:

        LN didn’t change the Stanley design at all. They improved the engineering quality, allthough the original Stanleys certainley weren’t bad either. And they have a superior customer support model, which is a good sales argument of course.

        And about not being cool, that’s capitalism at work. Americans are pretty good a capitalism too.

        From my point of view, I see no difference between supporting hard working Chinese and supporting hardworking Americans. We are all people on this planet together.

      • michalofsky says:

        KEES. WRONG
        the china government subsidizes china products to lower the price so that US companies cannot compete and go byebye

      • Tom says:

        Kees, that’s simply misguided — in any system with any respect for intellectual property, copying isn’t capitalism at work, any more than any other form of theft is. Americans haven’t been “good at this” for probably 150 years — and maybe not ever, since the opprotunity wasn’t really there then — on the scale China is doing it.

        And FWIW, LN (like Veritas) has improved any number of details as well as the engineering quality from classic Stanley tools. Read the shooting plane description on their website if you don’t believe me.

        There is something to be said for supporting hardworking Chinese. The honest ones. There are plenty of people in drug cartels who work very hard.

  8. I believe…. Folks who can afford to support US / Canadian manufacturing should do so. If you can’t afford new US / Canadian, then try to buy used. Last option should be new Asian.

    No matter how you get your tools…. make them dull, sharpened them, repeat frequently. Bonus points for showing others what you know and encouraging them to enjoy the craft.

  9. Publius Secundus says:

    I just bought the new Woodcraft low angle spokeshave that mimics a wooden shave but in steel. Both the blade and sole are adjustable via screws. Out of the box it shaved very well indeed. I don’t recall it being a copy of an old Stanley . . .it seems a good new design.

    • John Cashman says:

      The metal low angle shave is a Veritas design that they’ve been selling for several years.

    • John Cashman says:

      And Wood River has gone from ripping off Lie Nielsen tools to ripping off Lee Valley. Look at the above mentioned low angle metal shave and their side rebate plane.

  10. Peter Pedisich says:

    Some things are more important than saving some money.

  11. farqlue says:

    The true difference between Lie-Nielsen and Woodcraft lies in the following:

    If Thomas Lie-Nielsen were forced to make the choice of either sending his manufacturing overseas and risk producing subpar products to keep his company afloat OR to close shop, I have no doubt in my mind that he would choose the latter. Woodcraft, on the other hand, has already demonstrated their “philosophy” by choosing the former, not because they were in need of keeping Woodcraft afloat but because they were in need of higher profits and market share.

    In my opinion, this “new design” does nothing to indicate any redeeming evolution in the Woodcraft philosophy, it only serves to reinforce it. Thanks, but I’ll stick with the guy who’s already demonstrated his dedication to the craft and quality craftsmanship over the past 32 years by doing what was right from the beginning.

  12. David Cockey says:

    Sounds like you have the Wood River low angle spokeshave. http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2021170/29309/woodriver-adjustable-spokeshave.aspx You’re correct that it’s not a copy of an old Stanley. Rather its a veryclose copy of a new Veritas design. Primary difference besides quality is the cast iron rather than cast aluminum body and the lack of holes in the handles. http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=44834&cat=1,50230&ap=1

  13. Stefan Wolf says:

    “…..create unemployment, don’t buy made in USA………..”

  14. bigdaddyssrt says:

    I quit purchasing from Woodcraft when they took Lie-Neilsen’s designs to China and tried to get them copied. If the new stuff is made in China, I’ll save my money for an LN, Veritas, or older version.

  15. When I first saw a Woodriver plane I thought it was a LN with a special made cap iron. There was no mistaking it was a LN plane with a different name. It was a blatant copy. I don’t agree with Woodcraft doing what they did with having this plane made in China. Sears did a similar thing with a wrench they sold. Doesn’t make sense to for someone to do all the work to make something to have an American company ship it over seas and made cheaper and then import it back to sell.
    It even worse that Woodcraft is getting away with it.

  16. In the UK, these planes are sold as “Quangsheng”. I’m pretty sure they are also sold in Germany by Dictum as their “Dick” planes (giggles). I own a No. 4, 7, 62 and a low angle rebate block plane. They are excellent planes, well fettled on purchase. I will be able to hand these down to my grandchildren, no doubt about it. They are not as well prepared as Lie Nielsen, but only just. Thus, in my personal experience of current offerings, the complaints of poor quality is wholly unjustified (especially considering their price point).

    Quangsheng planes were my entry into woodworking proper. I could never have justified the expense of Lie Nielsen, Clifton, Veritas, etc. initially, as I was uncertain if woodworking was for me or not. However, the Quangsheng planes allowed me to mangle enough wood to like it, so now I also own a Lie Nielsen low angle block plane and carcass saw, a Veritas dovetail saw, straight edge, winding sticks, marking gauge, sharpening jig, and a Clifton 3110 shoulder plane. In this way I have helped support US and UK manufacturers and distributors (one UK distributor in particular). In the future, I am seriously considering buying a Lie Nielsen or Clifton No. 5 and who knows what else.

    So maybe one way to look at this is that these more approachable imported tools help foster woodworking which has eventual knock-on benefits for occidental manufacturers. It’s not a total loss.

    Also, this leg up in tool manufacturing seems to have given the Chinese manufacturers the financial capital and confidence they needed to make their own designs, as this blog post points out. In fact, Quangsheng have just release a No. 2506 side rebate plane which looks to be a nice interpretation of the old Record plane and not a copy of anyone else.

  17. jim says:

    “New Products at Woodcraft Show a Change”. No, not really…

    Feel free to ignore, this is going to be a somewhat winding comment…

    There seems to be an arc to how hobbies evolve. I’ve seen this a few times in my life, for wildly different hobbies… I start off with casual reading and it seems like folks are having a lot of fun. It’s contageous. Getting up to speed with basic ideas and terminology and techniques is a interesting mental challenge, it feels good to work the mind around new ideas. Then there is a decision to jump in and try it myself. Of course this involves an investment and so I start becoming focused on what is required equipment, what is a good value in equipment, what is good enough versus what holds its value… and all the permutations of that.

    Over time, that leads to an understanding of who the voices are in the community. Who is selling what, who works for who, who as opinions, who has knowledge, who has both. It leads to an understanding of the business side of things. And that leads to a reinterpretation of all of the previous comments about required equipment, product recommendations, descriptions of techniques.

    One begins to see the marketing angle in most everything that is written. How ideas and products are packaged to fan appetites. How nuances are heightened to make a sense of drama. Even being drama-less or minimalistic can be sold, too. It happens in every hobby. The paring down to essentials requires a new something to make it done in style.

    And eventually, for me, I’m left with a better sense of what the hobby can deliver and how much is much ado about things that get sold. And I usually wind up thinking, “Wow, beyond the basics, 95% of all of these conversations, books, blogs, workshops, conferences, videos, etc. are ultimately about highlighting some small sense of “lacking” and leveraging that into a new sale.”

    So sure, check out the new Woodcraft catalog. It will have some new products. Some of the product will be a lower-priced version of something or a higher-quality version of something else.

    But is this really a “change”? No. It’s a company selling products. It is an expert pointing people to a company. It’s a company that is trying to expand its market share. And, what prompted me write this comment, It’s an attempt by a company/expert to slightly re-image a company that has frankly seemed pretty greedy in the past. Yeah, I know “greed is good” and all of that… But I guess it comes off kinda tacky to market this as “change”.

    But whatever, really it’s nothing new. I guess it’s sorta the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, though. Like I said, it has happened in many of the hobbies I’ve taken up in my life. At a certain point, marketing saturation is reached: “change” and “new” and “more” and “better” and “improved” just ring hollow. I’m tempted to say “time to go back to basics” but that always sounds patronizing and, like I said, even that can be spun. So simply:

    Happy new year to all!

  18. michalofsky says:

    an ancillary note
    home depot dumped the, highest quality usa made, hilti power tool line for the, now china made (shame on them), milwaukee line
    simple answer
    the eighth deadly sin
    AMERICAN GREED (double)

    • Tom Pier says:

      Hilti and Home Depot were always a bit of an odd match in my book. Hilti is severe overkill for a vast majority of their customers and most building professionals don’t shop at Home Depot, they tend to buy specialized power tools at trade specialty stores. So I think this change had less to do with overwhelming greed than it did economic viability. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that Hilti was the party that pulled the plug, I don’t think that having a dedicated Hilti rep on site was cost effective for Hilti.

      • michalofsky says:

        you can only buy hilti at a hilti company store
        professionals do shop at depot
        where do you get your unsupportable facts?
        and its milwaukee greed to manufacture in china
        i guess you forgot about that

      • abtuser says:

        Agreed with Tom, and the big box stores have enough clout to set the price for a tool and tell the manufacturer what they can charge the big box. If the price the big box sets is too low, manufacturers can make a cheaper product or leave the relationship. I don’t know what happened, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Hilti ended the relationship. Also, Home Depot has ended several high quality product line relationships recently. One of our local janitorial product manufacturers, the produced very nice janitorial products, lost their Home Depot account and subsequently declared bankruptcy. Fortunately, a larger janitorial products company picked them up and they’ll continue on. I’d argue that this is more directly a result of a retrenchment due to Amazon’s influence on shopping, than say competition from China. Big boxes like Lowes and Home Depot need to come up with a new strategy to get people to continue to shop locally and one thing that will need to happen is some cost cutting till they figure something else out.

  19. Bob Demers says:

    This dilemma about want and prices never cease to amaze me. I get the morally, and economicaly wrongness of buying cheap knock off made in China and the impact on our local jobs etc, but in the end people always vote with their money. I love to support local (NA) tool makers (Veritas, LN, Wentzolf, Czeck tools etc among the brands in my tool kit) but I also own (gasp) Woodriver copy of their now removed, plane hammer (I thought at the time I somewhat recognized the design but wasnt sure, yap, knock off) and recently on my last trip to the USA, I bought their small chisel nose plane and cranked chisel plane (?) because they were a of a different design ive never seen before. Yap also picked up LN tools also, and antiques.
    Bottom line, I do not pretent, to be an hypocript and buy only NA made tools, I buy what I think is a fair price for what it is (Quality/price). Thats why I dont mind spending $44 on a Czeck marking knife, or a $179 or so on a Veritas tool, but I wont turn up my nose at Woodriver if they have an original design, decently made (not an obvious knock off)
    In conclusion; He who live in a glass house should not be so quick to cast the first stone, heh!
    This blog post below represent the closest my attitude on this subject, see
    http://fairwoodworking.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/canadiana-eh/

    Bob, who drink Tims and Canadian beer heh! :-)

    • Bob DeViney says:

      good blog post (canadiana-eh).

      Retirement and grand-children put a huge dent in my disposable income. But I’ve never considered it a hardship to save for a few extra months to get a better quality tool from a reputable company or individual craftsman. For me, it’s akin to visiting several small mills until I find exactly what I want, and then patiently waiting for the wood to acclimate in the shop. While my family always appreciates the result, making daily choices that align with my personal values is part of that private joy in the journey.

  20. Peter Ganev says:

    Woodcraft totally lost me as a customer when one day I entered a store 10 minutes before closing time and they told me to go away. Never set foot in a Woodcraft since.

    • Carroll says:

      That is my felling as well. There are vendors catering to our craft which have limited tools or supplies, yet they are craftsman and are needed. If you have noticed the longer we are involved in WW the less we know. Call the right shop and one will get the advice needed, not so at Woodcraft.

  21. Eric Erb says:

    “people always vote with their money” thanks bob, you are entirely correct.
    Though it seems that a lot of people don’t think of it this way.

    If nobody bought junk, they wouldn’t make junk.

  22. George R. says:

    I have limited funds, so I choose the tools I buy carefully. I will always buy NA when I have that option. Sure, the tools are more expensive, but the quality is almost always better and the customer service is for sure.

    I get tired of hearing about the sad state of theAmerican economy, yet very few are willing to pay the price to improve it. Instead it’s all about having the latest gee gaw. The ATC hit a real chord with me in it’s discussion of having less, but of better quality.

  23. Bob says:

    In this day and age, we are unfortunately stuck buying stuff made in China simply because that is the current epicenter of production. The fact that their workers are used and abused by their companies and government simply to become powerful and dominant in the world market so that we in North America and elsewhere can be force fed those goods to the point where we become reliant on them, let alone begin to believe that their cheaper cost is helping us, because no local company can ever compete without getting on that same train, makes me sick to my stomach.

    Yet we still stand in line and make excuses why supporting these guys is okay and wonder why our economies are slowing down and diving, forcing us to rely even further on these lowball manufacturing companies.

    I don’t have the answer on how to fix it, but at every possible turn I try and make the decision to purchase my personal goods from ANY company other than china companies, even if it costs me more out of pocket money because I realize that long term this type of buying pattern will eventually put more money back into my pocket by way of money injected into local economies, more people paying taxes because they are actually working, and maybe save a few of our local jobs from being bought up and outsourced by the Chinese…

  24. Carroll says:

    It is simple guys—–do not buy from them.

  25. David Pickett says:

    Just a thought, guys. The original Stanley planes were copies of Leonard Bailey’s designs, but made more cheaply. Stanley drove Bailey out of business. That’s fair competition – or capitalism by another name.

    If Woodriver (Quangsheng, whatever) make a good enough product at a good enough price, that’s fair competition. If you don’t like it, don’t buy ‘em. Buy Clifton, LN or Veritas instead.

    • Peter Pedisich says:

      I don’t think it’s fair at all to wait until some other company gets up early, works late, tries harder and spends lots money to develop products and sometimes a market even and then another company comes in when the work and toil and sweat is done to reap the benefits without the cost. I have lived this at work and it hurts.
      But I take your point, and its a good one… life (and business) isn’t fair! We should each do what we feel is best. Seems to be working, even with all the lower cost competition from Mexico, India and China, LN and LV are still thriving.

    • Auguste Gusteau says:

      Set. Game. Match.
      Regards,
      Auguste

    • michalofsky says:

      just a thought david
      the china govt subsidizes its industries
      thats a bit unfair competition

      • David Pickett says:

        All governments subsidise some of their industries, in one way or another. Some governments have artificial import tariffs (for example, the American government sets a very high import tariff on Scottish tweed – I don’t know why). World trade is not, and never has been, fair.

    • Jeff Burks says:

      Leonard Bailey sold his patent portfolio and plane business to Stanley Rule & Level in 1869, granting them exclusive rights to manufacture his designs. Your comment about Stanley making cheap knockoffs of Bailey planes and putting him out of business is completely false.

      • David Pickett says:

        No it isn’t. Stanley drove Bailey out of business by – eventually – buying him out. That still makes Stanley planes copies of Bailey’s designs.

    • Jeff Burks says:

      David,
      Stanley Rule & Level did not manufacture planes prior to 1869. They made rulers, levels, & marking gauges, etc. Your assertion that they “copied” Bailey’s designs and forced him out of business through competition is absurd. They were not competitors.

      Stanley purchased Bailey’s patents in order to enter the plane making business. They hired Bailey to manage the factory in New Britain, and paid him royalties for plane sales in addition to his wages. The planes manufactured by Stanley from 1869- were Bailey designs, not Bailey copies. Those designs were improved by additional Stanley patents over the next several decades.

      • David Pickett says:

        Jeff – the point I’m trying to make is that Stanley did not originate their plane designs. Leonard Bailey did. Stanley used their commercial muscle to put the company Bailey founded out of business – something that many American companies still do, both within America and abroad, and sometimes very aggressively. That’s capitalism.

        From the point of view of the consumer, the more choice the better. If you don’t like one company’s products or business approach, then use your power as a consumer to support a company you do like, but don’t berate the other guy because his way of thinking, or available disposable income, doesn’t match yours.

  26. Graham Burbank says:

    Pretty simple, folks. If I pay chris and john (and don and everyone else who sweated over this!) for a high-quality reprint of roubo’s masterworks, including their editing and input, I am voting with my dollars to support their efforts to create this market. I choose to purchace their hard work in translating and editing, choosing an american printer, top quality paper and binding methods, and a leather cover, all made here in the USA. I will not go out and buy a cheap chinese knock-off of their work, and would not support booksellers who chose to undercut them by selling the chinese version. ’nuff said.

    • Graham Burbank says:

      Apparently, direct copying of the high quality scanning, editing and translation (improvements to the origional form or subsequent copies) would be protected by current copyright laws, but direct copying of lumps of cast iron are not.

  27. But on a profit level, as mentioned earlier, where a $2.50 item can produce more profit for the company, than an entire line of planes. (Using the previous story, I’ve not read that data).

    A thriving companies fortunes are at any given time tenuous. Growing a company costs money, it doesn’t make money, expansion into new lines takes financing, it’s rarely done purely from profit. Chris mentioned trying to stay out of debt on a mortgage, this is rare (and money is cheap now, so he might want to listen to the accountant, just a thought not a criticism) With the inflation that is due to hit, by next year, two tops, his money will have no effective cost. No, I’m not an accountant.

    But back to my point, LN, Lee Valley, they can go to from making a dime to losing a quarter in a year or two especially on tight margins. And my point is, support them now if you can, because they might not be her tomorrow. Or in other words, if you think you want the fancy Roubo copy, buy it now, it won’t be here tomorrow. I did.

  28. jasongc says:

    I actually like my local Woodcraft. It’s staffed by friendly people that are actually woodworkers who know the difference between rip teeth and crosscut teeth. I buy a fair amount from them.

    That said, I won’t spend a dime on a WoodRiver product that is manufactured in China when there are competing products that are made by private industry in the US or Canuckistan. Buying Chinese goods is sometimes the only option available (cell phones, laptops, etc.), and in those instances I grit my teeth and do it. When a choice is available, I will always choose to NOT support a government that forces its people into labor camps.

    It amazes me that the Chinese government gets such a free pass from the more “enlightened” among us (not directed at Chris, btw).

    • David Pickett says:

      Things are changing fast in China. Their wage rates are rising apace, for example. In Britain, we’ve started to see work that went to China some years ago coming back onshore, one example being in the foundry industry. We’re also starting to see Chinese firms setting up in Britain, because they want to access a workforce with skills not available in China. Some people are not keen on Chinese-owned businesses operating here, but they create jobs. We’re beginning to sell into the Chinese market, too – and since there’s over a billion of them, it’s potentially a very lucrative market in the future. I would be staggered if you hadn’t started to see the same trends in North America. It’s not necessarily what I’d want in an ideal world, but the world is not, has never been, and never will be ideal.

      • That would be a wonderful thing if the pendulum finally started swaying our way. I’m with you in the electronics department, what are you supposed to do? I still buy Dell, but I don’t even pay attention to electronics, Dell has probably set up shop over there as well. I really don’t know.

        In an earlier post I mentioned that I though Chris had stepped up his game a bit? Well ATC was the book that hit the mark for me as well. And I was a machine JUNKIE. Old American Big Cast Iron JUNKIE. I own many tons of the stuff. It was a revelation to me, that I already knew, and actually preached a bit, but had never actually taken quite so to heart. It was a great book. (And if you did read my other post, NO, this is not a romantic gesture toward him, like I accused others of making). And please, Patrick, leave this one alone, I’m being sincere here. I’ll lob another high, soft one to you another day.

  29. Stefan Wolf says:

    We are not forced…. We choose….. And Choice has consequences……………..

  30. David Barbee says:

    When I was doing woodworking full time I can’t remember how many times I complained about people buying over seas crap instead of supporting local craftsman. It only seems right that when when I’m in the market for a product I look to support small businesses. They may not all be made in the USA but they are built by small businesses and craftsman. That might be Lie Nielsen, Lee Valley, Tools For Working Wood, Chris Vesper, or any number of small handsaw makers that have sprung up. The personal attention and service you would get from any of these folks is absolutely top notch.

    It has always impressed me that Robin Lee (Lee Valley Tools) actually frequents the woodworking forums. As I’m sure Chris will attest, that is very similar to being thrown to the wolfs. If somone has an issue he takes care of it without pause but most comments/responses to Mr. Lee are almost always very positive and full of praise.

    I have always considered Woodcraft, and to a lesser extent Rockler, the Wal-Mart’s of the woodworking world. I’m glad to hear that Woodcaft might be going straight, but If I have a choice I will stick with someone else.

    David

  31. Carroll says:

    My feelings as well. There were craftsman at the japan WW which can not be replaced as with the Cutting Edge. If these folks really were responsive to craftsman ship they would not offer the products they do and WOULD have quality craftsman on staff. I say buy elsewhere. Buy where you can trust.

  32. ron howes says:

    Well, all that being said, the 2 reviews on the WoodCraft website re the shoulder plane are scathing…

    • Tom says:

      Didn’t see any reviews on Woodcraft (looked after I saw your post). Wonder if they were taken down, or if I’m looking in the wrong place?

  33. John says:

    Here is my take…… LN did start off with copies of Stanley and in time improved on it. Changed the material and thicker casting with extras. WindRiver is from China and from the look of things copied the LN version.

    So why do I support LN and LV when both are pretty much similar compared to OLD Stanley. Simple, the quality is unmatched. The customer service is EXCELLENT. In all cases the finishing with LN and LV is excellent. Yes I could pick on minor flaws BUT it would be picky.

    There are times that I do wonder which is original since all 3 products DO look so similar in FUNCTIONALITY. As time progresses, products evolve like the LV routers and the plow planes. With uniqueness like these I would SUPPORT the innovator that being LV,LN or WindRiver.

    *In comparison do we support Windows or Mac? Take your stand and stick to it.*

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