Buy American? Starrett measuring tools.....

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I'd love to source all of my precision measuring devices from Starrett, but at double and triple the price of almost identical tools from overseas I'm having a tough time mustering up enough patriotism to justify the additional cash outlay.
I'll be honest, I *trust* Starrett, and I'd like to use their products where I can in the shop - not only for the whole "buy American" thing, but for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that I can eliminate measuring errors from the list of causes of my myriad fuckups. Anyone have any experience negotiating directly with Starrett to get more competitive pricing? Just wondering...
Oh yeah - it looks like Lee Valley is making straightedges now. A four or six footer would sure be nice for the jointer... Dad's a Canuck so I guess I can feel ok buying (and buying, and buying...) from them!!
JP ************************* NAFTA friendly.
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wrote:

I just ordered a Starrett combination square from Amazon for $164.99 today (Ouch!). With $200 or more there is a $25 promotion on tools. And they have free shipping.
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Phisherman repeats:

OK! I knew they were working on the straightedge. I'll have to see if my boss will free up a check in the next few days. That price is right on the steel model. Aluminum, too, but I'm clumsy enough to screw that up, so will go with steel.
Charlie Self "I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents." Sir Winston Churchill
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On 04 Sep 2004 09:13:01 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) calmly ranted:

Now watch. UPS will show up with a 2' long U-shaped package marked "Carefully folded to avoid damage to contents."
---------------------------------------------------------- --== EAT RIGHT...KEEP FIT...DIE ANYWAY ==-- http://www.diversify.com/stees.html - Schnazzy Tees online ----------------------------------------------------------
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On Sat, 04 Sep 2004 06:18:38 -0700, Larry Jaques

UPS can mess up anything. So I believe your exaggeration could in fact come true.
I once ordered a bunch of mesquite boards from Texas. Tracked 'em across the US, they got to my local delivery office and got scheduled for delivery. Yippee. later that same day, they got marked as damaged in shipment, return to sender. WTF!!!!
I was pissed beyond belief, and wondered how they'd gotten broken. The driver brought them out anyway, of his own initiative. Turns out someone at UPS spilled a lot of used motor oil on them. How thoroughly incompetent of them. Since they were mostly wrapped in cardboard and were rough, what oil did touch them got planed off anyway.
Thanks to the initiative of their driver, who must know *something* about woodworking, he saved the day for me. He should have gotten an attaboy for that, but probably received discipline for violating the company line.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Please don't joke like this. Recently, I ordered some 3/4" square x 6' metal bars (3 aluminum, 2 brass). They were shipped via UPS in a long square box that arrived with creases in the cardboard. I thought "Yeah, sure" and opened the boxes. And sure enough, one of the brass bars was bowed just under a half inch.
How do they do that?
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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wrote:

I once mail-ordered a rally car rollcage. Securicor bent it in shipping.
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They would have to try to do that. Try hard.

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wrote:

Well, not all _that_ hard. It's not a "cage" until you have it fastened down to the floorpan. They managed to bend one of the legs that stuck out on its own.
Still 2" steel tube though.
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All you have to do is watch the UPS driver when he walks back to his truck. Notice his knuckles dragging the ground? Need I say more about Un---Professional ----Service
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I got the aluminium (soft metal, Cody) and it's a peach.
Bob

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They don't sell direct.
They do, however, have an overstock page on their web page. They are sold out of the 60" straight edges that went for $160. But for that same price, you can get a vibrometer.
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Jay Pique wrote:

Once upon a time they had a straight edge. It left. Now it's back? How long is it? Got a URL?
UA100, with so many questions...
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http://tinyurl.com/5gfww for the straightedges.
They've also got a new large sholder plane and a very cool roller stand, which can be seen here - http://tinyurl.com/5ytzf .
The roller stand looks to be very well thought out and sturdily made. It's now on the list.
JP
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Looking for something a wee bit longer/jointer set up.

Can you set up a jointer with it?
UA100
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I think the key word there is "almost". Compare -- I'm choosing my words carefully here -- the guaranteed accuracy of the Starrett tools with the claimed accuracy of the imported competition.

They *are* pricy, I'll grant you that. But we're back to the old maxim, discussed here many times: buy the best, cry once; buy cheap, cry every time you use it.

AFAIK, Starrett does not sell direct. But there's a wide range of prices for the same tool, depending on the retailer. Check Google, Froogle, and eBay. Auctions and garage sales may be your friends, too -- a long time ago, digging through a carton of miscellaneous stuff at an auction, I found at the bottom of it a wooden box containing a Browne & Sharp micrometer. Put that sucker right back where I found it, too, at the bottom under everything. Paid a buck and a half for the carton. :-)
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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wrote:

I suffered with the same decision. I chose to go with Mitutoyo. I've got one of their dial calipers and a combination square with a center finder and protractor head. Love that protractor head.
However, if Starett wasn't so far out their price wise, I'd get that. But for a hobbyist woodworker, it's just too much.
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wrote:

Heh - that's almost exactly what I said to the guy at the Starrett booth last week. I was nice about it, and said that I'd prefer to buy Starrett, but with Mitutoyo at half the cost it's tough to justify. He shrugged.
JP
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Buying woodworking tools is like buying anything else...like shoes, clothes, cars, etc. You're buying quality, top shelf stuff, but you're also buying the brand name and reputation of the company too. That's why Starret can, and rightly so, charge more for their tools.
Layne
wrote:

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On Sat, 04 Sep 2004 18:58:39 -0700, Layne <> wrote:

Compared to Mitutoyo ?
IMHO, Starrett are doomed - like so many US and UK manufacturing companies. No, I don't know an answer, this is just an observation. But when I can buy a $100 Starrett tool for $5 from Lucky Golden Hedgehog (and it's rubbish) or for $50 from Mitutoyo and it's as good if not better than Starrett's, then why _should_ I buy the US version?
You can talk about "loyalty" all you like, but sometimes that just becomes an excuse for a stupid buying decision. HP's printers have been rubbish for some years, and this is the company that gave us the LaserJet (my 15 year old LaserJet is still running, my 2 year old inkjet is scrap)
More importantly, you can't run a company on loyalty alone. Even if some of your customers still buy "for old times sake", the majority of them are fickle and will move away.
--
Smert' spamionam

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