We have few tool stores in my area and when my local Woodworkers
Wahehouse went belly-up recently, I felt a small pain in the pit of
my stomach. I could always depend on them to be there. Bought my
Delta jointer, Delta 14" bandsaw and countless clamps, chisels
and othe WW tools there over the years. The guys there were very
helpful. I remember one time when I bought a set of Marples
chisels, the salesman "Bob" spent 25+ minutes explaining
the scary sharp system and how I should grasp the chisel and move
my body in synchronization with the tool over various grades
of sandpaper. I really appreciated that. But I haven't bought a major
tool there for a year or more...how many can you buy?
Enter Woodcraft...coincidentally (?) opening just as the former
WW Warehouse closes. I'm not sure about this "corporate giant".
I get their catalogs all the time, but they seem really expensive.
I'm always looking for a bargain-but I won't stoop to Sears'
Craftsman. Sears is OK for refrigerators, washers & dryers,
but ceratainly not (say) a good table saw. OK, I admit I do have
their radial arm saw - not bad but needs semi-annual adjustment.
Back to Woodcraft. Got a mail-flyer that advertized all Jet and
Powermatic at 10% off last Saturday (Apr 17). Now their catalog
prices the Jet 48x6x9 sander (JSG-96) at $299 plus shipping.
No way they would sell that for $270 I thought. Got there at 10:30 AM
and sure enough, drove away with my "bargain". There was one guy
ahead of me buying the same exact tool which reinforced my
good feelings about the purchase.
What a nice store - almost too nice for a woodworking store in that
it was very "tony". My wife would almost tolerate walking through
this place. Much larger than the old place. Exotic woods (maybe I'll
start using something other than oak, poplar & walnut).
Capitalism is great...I'll be looking out for "Bob".
Until it recently went belly up I had a Woodcraft Supply store a
block from where I live; and still I preferred to order (whenever
possible) from Lee Valley/Veritas (Woodcraft sells some Veritas
products); but I preferred to order from Lee Valley 'cause I knew
they'd take care of any problems I might have post haste and
without hassles. In point of fact, I never had any problems with
any of their stuff.
Where product lines overlapped, LV seemed to have lower normal
prices. Woodcraft seemed to have better prices on many sale
items. For brand name stuff, I still prefer to shop the web for
bargains (bargain ::= unusually high value with unusually low price).
Support your local stores. We recently had a Woodcraft store open in the
Nashville area. I had always puchased my tools through the Crib or Lee
Valley...etc. , but there is something to be said for having a local store.
You can get up close and personal with something before you buy it. Not to
mention seeing the competion. I have been a professional millworker for ten
years, and as I may be a pro at using these machines, I don't know the ins
and outs of every tool on the market. Enter the people at your local
woodcraft. They will give you all the info you need to make a good decision
about your needs in what you want to buy. And the thing that really sold me
was, I can return anything for a refund within a year of purchase if
That's one thing that I have learned over the years - support
your local stores if any are available. The specialty stores
are a treasure when compared to (say) HD, Lowes, etc.
I bought a PC Router from a "smooth-talker" at HD a few years
back who guaranteed that it would be dust-free routing for my
dovetails (I forget the model, but it was about $225).After I hooked up
the suction base & hose, I started routing some dovetails-damn...sure
was not dust-free! The noise from the vac & router combined has
led me to wear ear protection (a plus).
Went back the next day to talk to the salesman and he was nowhere
to be found - ever again. Went on to the next HD I guess.
It's a good router, but my 10 yr old Bosch D-handle still completes
90% of my work.
I'm one of those guys that likes instant gratification. I do order things on
the web, but there's nothing I like better than wandering into a woodworking
shop and walking out with some heavy tool to push the edges of the envelope as
far as what will fit in my Taurus. I've bought a lot of stuff from the local
Woodcraft store (on the other side of town). I've also bought a fair amount of
stuff from Klingspor's (which is on my side of town).
The next big purchase (too big for the Taurus) will depend on who offers free
delivery. There's a local machinery supplier who has a tremendous selection of
Delta and Jet stuff. Somebody is gonna deliver my bandsaw. I don't know who,
but somebody will.
Don't forget the borg. I picked up a nice 15" drill press from HD that was
being phased out by Ridgid (Emerson) for Ridgid (Chinese Crap). I got the tool
manager to cut me a deal, so I saved a fair amount. It fit in the Taurus, but
If you can stand it, wait for those 20% off sales that seem to happen
periodically. I remember reading a posting from somebody who bought a gift
certificate at 20% off, then applied it at a 10% off sale. Pretty smart.
To get back to your original thought: I've always found them to be nice guys at
Woodcraft, and they carry a hell of a lot of inventory there in the store. I've
probably spent a good $2000 there in the last four months.
On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 02:31:37 GMT, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"
Guess I am also.... I will purchase locally 90 percent of the time
even if it costs me more.... When I NEED something or even think I may
NEED something I want it NOW....
Never did like returns to mail order places...rather walk into a local
dealer and drop the defective tool on the counter and get personal
with the clerk...
Indianapolis has both a Woodcraft and Rockler store and both places are real
pleasures to visit and do business with, much nicer than mail order or web
based outlets especially if you have any problems.
On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 02:31:37 GMT, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"
hi mort. it seems we are in the same area. if you need help hauling
some of the larger stuff just ping me here. i have a truck and a
trailer and dont mind helpin out a fellow wrecker. i also shop both
places and they seem to share the bargains equaly. one may have a
drill press cheeper and the other may have a saw cheeper. it pays to
check em all. BTW have you been out to graham to woodworkers supply?
they got some nice stuff also.
Well, that's a very generous offer. I appreciate it very much. To answer your
question, no, I've never been there... but you can be sure I will be going, now
that I know they're there. I'm a newbie, so there are some pretty significant
gaps in my knowledge.
While we're throwing out names, Blume Supply on South Blvd. has a tremendous
selection of big tools. It's just a few blocks closer to town than Klingspor's.
I live right off Sharon Road West in south Charlotte.
|What a nice store - almost too nice for a woodworking store in that
|it was very "tony". My wife would almost tolerate walking through
|this place. Much larger than the old place. Exotic woods (maybe I'll
|start using something other than oak, poplar & walnut).
After lots of shopping I bought my Unisaw from Wendy at the local
Woodcraft store on their February sale day. Other than paying sales
tax, the prices (before discount) are the same as anywhere on the net
and they delivered to my garage for an extra $15.
When I've had problems (too many to list here and subject for a rant
one of these days) I can go eyeball-to-eyeball with them.
The only problem with shopping there is I went in two days ago for a
$4.50 box of wood screws (needed in a hurry) and spent $45.
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