I recently ordered an guide bushing adapter for my router on eBay. The product
came from Shop Fox, a "registered trademark of Woodstock International,
Inc." and "manufactured in China for Woodstock International, Inc."
Having never heard of Shop Fox, I went to their website and noticed that
they carry a wide assortment of woodworking and metalworking machines.
I'm not looking to buy, just curious if anyone knows anything about their
equipment. I looked for a local dealer and was surprised to find that
their products are supposedly carried at a fancy lumber yard in a "high end"
neighborhood as well as a place way out in the middle of farm country.
Woodstock has been around for a long time, 25 years at least. They used to
sell retail via ads in appropriate magazines and catalogs sent out
frequently to customers. My impression was that their things were a cut
above those of some other popular retailers - certainly, their prices were -
and I occasionally purchased small items from them
Numerous retailers - including importers such as Grizzly - sell their stuff.
On Monday, August 1, 2016 at 10:50:08 AM UTC-4, Leon wrote:
Yes, I did notice that they retail through many online vendors.
I guess I'm more curious as to the quality, features, etc. I don't see/hear
the name come up in this ng (or perhaps I just missed it).
What started me down this "curiosity path" was the fact that the $10 generic
router adapter on eBay listed DuroTools as the seller. I just assumed it was
a cheap Chinese knock-off. When it came in a Shop Fox package and mentioned
Woodstock International, I decided to see what other little do-dads Shop Fox
sold. I fully expected to see cheaper versions of Rockler/Woodcraft type
items. I was surprised to see they that are part of a company that sells
"big machines", not just generic accessories.
I've had the ShopFox 12" bench-top drill press for a couple years and it's a
good little machine. Like any tool inexpensive enough for a non-professional
to buy for his own shop you need to tune it up a little when you put it
together, but it wasn't much trouble. And you only have to do that once.
Like they say about the Grizzly machine tools - "You can make good tools out
of them." And it's true, but I've had to work harder on Grizz tools than I
did on this little machine.
I measured the runout with a dial indicator and it was just fine - don't
remember exactly how many thou but it wasn't enough for me to do anything
I am under the impression that Woodstock International is
subsidiary or representative for one of the big Chinese/
Taiwanese machinery makers, and they make & distribute
several brands of woodworking tools. Shop Fox is their
When they first appeared on the scene, many years ago, the
Shop Fox brand got relatively poor reviews in the WW press,
as did all the other Taiwanese brands (which all came from
the same factory, so not surprising). In recent times, the
Shop Fox brand has had much more positive reviews in the
press. I strongly suspect this reflects more of a decline
in review quality and rigor than it does any great improvement
in the product.
I surprised to hear you say this. I thought you were one of the smart
China is gaining in manufacturing prowess. I figure they are
currently about where the USA was in the mid-fifties/early-sixties and they are only
gonna get better. ;)
Guess not :-)
That statement is based on my recent re-reading of a stack
of American Woodworker magazines from the 90's. Compared
to reviews in current FWW or Wood magazine, the older ones
are more comprehensive (include a fuller set of the available
tools), more detailed (test a greater variety of tool features,
test features in more depth), and much more likely to criticize
aspects of the tool.
From that I conclude the quality and rigor of the reviews has
declined. I suspect there's a certain amount of "don't offend
the advertisers" at work.
I have worked with the Chinese for quite a while. In my
opinion, the quality you get from the Chinese is the quality
you ask for - they are capable of very high quality work,
but you have to ask for it, be willing to pay for it, and
willing to test and monitor to ensure you're getting it.
There's an old engineering saying: "good, fast, and cheap;
you can pick any two". The default from China is fast
and cheap. That's what most people want.
On 8/2/2016 8:09 PM, email@example.com wrote:
And, for many small companies, who find they must use Chinese
manufacturing to be competitive, that is exactly the opening the Chinese
are looking for to maximize their profits.
Unless you have constant 'boots on the ground', you will only find out
about their shortcuts from your customers.
You, the US consumer, ultimately pays through higher prices, or an
inferior product, or both.
Having traveled a bit in China, and having an interest in a company
currently using them for manufacturing, it's not the state of their
manufacturing prowess, but their propensity for notorious business
practices that results in cheapening any product/process to ridiculous
Since their home office is also in Bellingham, WA, and they first showed
up along with Grizzly, I've always presumed there was a major tie-in
there, but that may just be coincidence rather than factual.
AFAIK, Woodstock is just an importer/distributor but overall they've
been around 25 yr or so while Shop Fox I don't believe showed up
somewhat later than that...
It seems to me they've always rated at about the same quality level as
Grizz; a little above the norm of the "lowest-priced spread" but a
little behind most Jet, say, and at least until the sell-off of Delta
not up to what one would expect from them.
I _think_ but don't know for certain they do spec their own machinery
and do some R&D kind of things, particularly in the industrial-grade
stuff over on the metal side having some patented items besides just
All in all, I think you can generally count on a serviceable item; I
don't know just how well their service/support ranks re: Grizzly that
gets good marks if there is a problem.
I've not bought anything new in "since forever"; I'm partial to really
old, larger iron at the same or lower price entry point at the cost of
some refurb work...but a 1600-lb PM planer or 2000-lb 16" Crescent
jointer intrigue me far more than new stuff that's generally much less
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