Re: Why Good Drawings Are Important - Long Boring Story

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some big bucks. Not only for research and development, but manufacturing and marketing costs as well.
Rob Lee has talked aout the luxury of being a private company and being able to pursue tool design that a publically company may not be able to. But he also made it clear that there is only so much money to go around and he has to budget the projects he has.
Development and manufacture of power tools would require a huge amount of capital, just not available to a family owned company like Lee Valley.
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wrote:

..
Many of Lee Valley's tools fill a need that isn't adequately handled by others. The power drill, believe me, is covered, so is the router, so is the circular saw, and every other kinda tool with a cord or a battery pack. No one will ever be able to make the claim that the Lee Valley drill drills rounder holes than a Milwaukee. Marketing/manufacturing 101: Find a niche and fill it. There ain't no niche in the powertool market that isn't already being fought over by many, many (toooo many) brands.
The way the Lee Valley people think, their drill/saw/router would be what? As good as a Festool? Better but even more expensive??? Not because they don't know how, not because they don't have the money, but because they are smarter than that. (They're Canadian, after all <dons Nomex>)
There is a better chance LV Organic Cereal will hit the market before any head-ache-riddled powertool of theirs will.
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I wouldn't say that. If a particularly new and different method came up for some power tool ~ like the Domino (which I feel is a cross between a biscuit joiner and a plunge router) then who knows, they might give it a shot. If not, the chances are good they would at least retain the rights to it and farm the manufacturing and/or marketing out to someone else.
Hell, look at all the trial and tribulations of the Saw Stop. A single person invented it, had a great deal of trouble marketing it, all the while fighting off other power saw companies in the process and look where it is today. You can't tell me the Saw Stop is not a direct threat to every other table saw manufacturer. They've all got truckloads of cash and yet Saw Stop is a serious, serious threat to everybody else.
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Sawstop has something nobody else has AND a great saw. Nobody else has a wiener-activated safety feature. They're working with Bratwurst in secret, I understand salami is being tried out at Area 41 Skunkworks along with actual, live skunks. The Lee family is rumoured to be working on ChiselStop.
Kidding aside, SawStop became a success because first and foremost they had a new safety concept and proved to all the nay-sayers that it was reliably functional. Those guys understand electronics and engineering. Rob Lee understands craftsmen/people and has a nose for what those want/need. And let's face it, those NeaNderthals don't need no stinkin' Sawstop OR sawblade guards.
Oh, and NO powertool manufacturer has truckloads of cash. Hell, they're beating the crap out of each other. Let them, and we benefit. But to get into the fray? That would be asking for trouble.
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"Robatoy" wrote: -------------------------------------------------------- Oh, and NO powertool manufacturer has truckloads of cash. Hell, they're beating the crap out of each other. Let them, and we benefit. But to get into the fray? That would be asking for trouble. -------------------------------------------------------
Small power tools is definitely not what you would call a growth business, IMHO.
Terms like "Mature market", "Too many participants", "No dominant provider", "Commodity market", "Limited growth", "Small market (probably less than $1 billion world wide)", are terms that come to mind come when describing the small power tool business.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Would agree with most of the above except the $1 billion worldwide. Assuming about $125 per tool (some higher, some lower), that's only about 8 million sales. Even if that were the US only, that would be only 160,000 power tools per state per year -- worldwide that's an awfully small number. Would think the sales figure to be more on the $10 to $50 billion worldwide. Not huge, but still not tiny.

--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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I think $125/tool is well on the high side. For every $300 Bosch router that's sold, there are probably ten $12.95 portable drills.
My guess is that the average retail price of small power tools is closer to $40-50.
Still, I agree with your conclusion that $1B/year worldwide is way low.
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"Mature market" would include market saturation. I see stacks and stacks of products in the box stores just sitting there.. then I see a Two-for-One sale..I mean TWO Bosch grinders for $ 119.00. What kind of margins could there possibly be? There are many examples like that. Like adding a sander if you buy jigsaw. These are all 'high profile' companies. And every time they sell a $ 45.00 jigsaw, they have taken a potential customer for a $ 200.00 jigsaw off the market. Very few will upgrade later.
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As I said, if it was something new and different. Has absolutely nothing to do with your "Mature market", "Too many participants", "No dominant provider", "Commodity market", "Limited growth", "Small market".
A new unseen, unheard of power tool is exactly that. It doesn't matter if every household has a power schinkerbob and every workshop contains twenty flunkertiks. For new, different and useful, there's no such thing as market saturation. Just doesn't apply.
And there's other things to consider. A few innovative handtools aside, 90% of Lee Valley Tool's products were and are already on the market when they came to be. That didn't stop them did it? A major contribution to their success in my opinion is their customer service policies, something that is decidedly lacking in today's markets. Many people, me included don't mind spending a little extra money for their products because I know that if I'm not satisfied with something, even months later, I can return it for a no questions asked refund or replacement. For that kind of service, what they sell is priceless in my view and means I'll shop there again.
For far too long, the market has been concerned solely with cheapest price. Competition and marketing has inundated the entire market with cheap and useless products, stuff nobody needs. We are all paying for this torrent of crap.
Anyway, this is all theorizing.
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HI! BILLY MAYS HERE WITH THE AMAZING DUAL SAW!
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Upscale wrote:

Not so theoretical as all that. Recall the rec discussion of price and warranty requirements that aborted introduction of the JBot as a product...
...and I recall that discussion every time conversation turns to difficulties with dovetail jigs, duplicators, pattern drilling, mortise/tenoning machines, and template routing. <s>
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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I take it JBot is a CNC router/drill? Yup. The time will come for that, when folks start wondering why electronics innovation should stop outside the shop doors. I can see a reasonably accurate, limited envelope router/drill replacing all the dovetail and mortising jigs on the market.
Twenty years from now, on the eve of the year 2030, everyone will have replaced their sketching pencils with Sketchup 342.0. Sometime between then and now, the revolution will have taken place, leaving only the true diehards to yearn for the simpler days of handcut hardboard templates. ;)
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"MikeWhy" wrote:

It's already here.
If you have been following "This Old House", they showed a computerized "Router System" being used in a cabinet shop somewhere around Boston.
Material is placed on infeed roller table and then clamped and fed into the cutting tool using X-Y positioning..
Router cutting has replaced saw blades for cutting blanks to size.
A rotary pallet, containing probably at least 100 router bits, would rotate to present the correct bit for loading into the spindle chuck.
For those of you familiar with metal working machinery, it uses the same concepts as a Weideman press used to blank out sheet metal parts.
Obviously, this is strictly for commercial applications; however, look for off shoots of the concepts to appear at your local toy store before too long.
Lew
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MikeWhy wrote:

You've probably already seen it at the link below. Step size is 1/4800" (approx 0.0002083") in all three axes - reasonably accurate for most woodworking. Runs industry standard g-code.
It's an "adequate" joinery machine, and is still as accurate as the day it was finished. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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It's the right size. It's the right shape. Every home shop should have one. I remember our conversation now. I got carried away, and made mine way complicated. Servo motors; ballscrews; linear slides. And then set it aside for the impracticality.
Hmmm.
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There are some sharp cookies out there writing some nifty software.
I have been 'discovered' by some local cabinetmakers and restoration guys who have given me some challenges. Fluted columns, matching old profiles of crown moulding, etc. The three biggest sign-makers in the area have come on board and I can clearly see the day where I won't have to lug those damned countertops around anymore. This is waaaaaaaay more fun. . . Now, for that 5 axis machine with tool-changer...*dreaming* . There are days when I thank Morris for encouraging me, and then there are days when I say to myself: "why did I EVER listen to Morris..LOL" There are a few other guys who have 'adopted' me and it has become a bit of a support group.."we understand, Rob, it WILL get easier.." LOL
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"Robatoy" wrote

There are some sharp cookies out there writing some nifty software. ==================================== There is nothing like some good folks with skills to not only solve problems for you but to make you look good. ======================================= I have been 'discovered' by some local cabinetmakers and restoration guys who have given me some challenges. Fluted columns, matching old profiles of crown moulding, etc. The three biggest sign-makers in the area have come on board and I can clearly see the day where I won't have to lug those damned countertops around anymore. This is waaaaaaaay more fun. ============================ Hey, good for you! You took some risks, spent some money and learned some new skills. That kind of behavior is rewarded in bizzzzness. Hey, keep this sort of thing up and you could be buying even more toys in the future.
As for sign makers, they probably have their own skillsets and comfort zones. If you can provide them with something they need, that is a good match all the way around. Particularly if it is something they do not normally do. =============================== There are days when I thank Morris for encouraging me, and then there are days when I say to myself: "why did I EVER listen to Morris..LOL" ====================== Just think of Morris as a major corrupting influence. ========================
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On Jul 20, 12:24am, "Lee Michaels"

white) 600 cc motorcycle. Found a great source for parts and he claims some of that style have made it over here, but my best luck would be to find one in Germany or The Netherlands. oops.. this is a woodworking group. Well, you DID say 'toys'.
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wrote:
<snip>

He is. I am trying to figure out where to put solar panels as I am planning to reside my house. Unfortunately, I don't think it's going to work.
Luigi
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Humph! I just want people to be comfortably warm, well fed, and empowered/challenged to realize their best creative dreams...
Now, how corrupting is that?
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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