A lot of items I've tried to buy and were out of stock at local stores are
medium to high volume stuff, not something that would collect dust for a
year. Some stores have back stock, but most are what you see is what you
I wouldn't expect a woodworking store to stock a Unisaw unless they are a
Some of the items aren't worth online ordering due to shipping, but some
It is a pita, granted, for places to not restock...there's a farm supply
here that is terrible about it--unfortunately, town's small enough
there's little alternative, but the manager just doesn't keep up w/
stuff that aren't supplier-stocked.
Greetings and Salutations....
On Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:25:07 -0500, Duane Bozarth
First off, I have no financial interest in the Woodcraft in
Knoxville...although I am a member of a woodturning group that meets
there regularly, and, have had some pleasant chats with Dave Harding
Now...I can understand the OP's frustration, as I am always
annoyed when the specific thing I want is not available in the store
where I expect it to be...and, I would agree that it is perhaps
not unreasonable to expect the store to have a PC Dovetail Jig.
Actually...now that I think of it, I recall seeing one there on the
shelves towards the back of the store on a fairly regular basis.
However, to say "don't stock anything" is, perhaps overstatement
brought on by frustration. The fact of the matter is that the
store is a small one, and, while it is located in the "high rent"
end of town, Knoxville is still a fairly economically depressed
area...which means that money is tight all over. In spite of
that, Dave carries QUITE a wide range of products from the catalog,
as the small store IS quite packed with stuff. There are a lot of
turning and carving tools, there are router bits of all sorts,
there is quite a selection of specialty hardware, etc, as well as
finishing supplies, workbenches, and both handplanes and power
tools ranging from small routers up to big cabinet saws and lathes.
The folks that work there are all quite friendly,
and DO want to make sure that customers can find what they need.
I would suggest, though, that the best thing to do (and something
I would have done after the first disappointment), would, indeed,
be to call ahead and find out if a given item is in stock. If
they have it, they will be happy to put it aside for you. If
they don't have it...they can tell you when they WILL have it...
Actually, the biggest frustration I have with the place
is that Dave is real limited in the discounts he can give...
so ti can be WAY too pricy for a tool addict such as myself to
go in there. If it weren't for the "unloved stuff" shelves
where I have found a few good deals, I would be even poorer
than I am now!
There some people that you simply cannot please, and will find fault
with everything , there life probably reflects this, then there are those,
the majority, that call ahead or come back if the distance is not far. We
have a couple at our store that , when they come in , you hate to wait on
them. Many of our customers are like family , and all are treated that way.
Ken at Indy
I've been to your store a couple times. The last sales dood that helped
me was indeed very nice. Had a devil of a time finding the place. I'll
bet that Dead End sign does nothing for business. And the traffic...is
Yea...although I can certainly understand how frustrations
can build up until one has to vent.
Coincidentally, I was listening to a CD of one of my
favorite saterical philosophers, Tom Lehrer, the other day,
and, was reminded of what became one of my favorite sayings
after I stole it from him years ago.
He was talking about one of the great thinkers he
had run across, and, said that, just before the fellow had
been taken away to the Home for the Terminally Confused, he
had opined that "Life is like a sewer. What you get out of
it depends pretty much on what you put into it".
P.S. In an odd twist, as I write this, I happened
to surf into C-SPAN2, and, was interested to see that a speech
by the infamous Ward Churchill was on. He does have some
anger issues, it sounds like...and DOES like to focus in
on the failings of humanity to the exclusion of everything
I liked his satirical songs like "Nicoloi Ivanovitch Lobachevski", a
testament to mis-spent years listing to the Dr. Demento show I guess.
If their aims weren't so destructive, you could almost pity people like
Churchill; one can almost be assured that he has very little joy in his
life, or that what little joy he finds is in tearing down what others have
worked so hard to build up.
The absence of accidents does not mean the presence of safety
Army General Richard Cody
On 6 Apr 2005 05:16:36 -0700, the inscrutable "Gerald"
Gerald, you could have called the store to check stock before driving
any distance. I made that mistake once with Harbor Freight and won't
again. (50 mile r/t) Whatever you do, call the store manager and give
him your gripes. If it was he to whom you talked in Knoxville, call
corporate instead and give them the story. They have a reputation to
keep up and if he isn't doing his share, they need to know.
Proud (occasional) maker of Hungarian Paper Towels.
http://www.diversify.com Comprehensive Website Design
Well, I'll take the ding for not calling ahead and checking to see if
they had the item in stock, but three times in a row tells me they
stock very little of anything. And it was a Porter Cable Dovetail Jig.
I have overheard workers at my local Woodcraft complaining about slow
delivery of PC stock. Exactly how true this may be is hard to say.
But, I would not assume that they or anybody else has PC gear instock.
I guess it depends on the type of store one goes into, so I wouldn't think
that dovetail jigs are that popular a woodworking tool for the average home
owner. Saws, drills, hammers, etc. could be considered commodity items for
joe woodworker, but not a dovetail jig. I agree with you however, if a store
regularly doesn't have what I want, whatever it is, it soon gets dropped off
my 'like to visit' list.
A conclusion not supported by the evidence. A conclusion better supported by
the evidence is that they don't stock what you're looking for.
They probably don't stock more than a couple of those anyway. All it would
take is to sell two of them in one week, and bang! They're out of stock until
the next truck comes in.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
I don't get it. It would appear that many of the responder to this thread
have some vested interest in Woodcraft. There seems to be all kinds of
justifications put forth as to why this store fails to have what Gerald
wants to purchase. Some are even critical of the guy for not calling ahead.
As I understand it, Woodcraft is a specialty store for the woodworking
community. Therefore, to say that stocking a dovetail jig is something
extraordinary seems to be an odd defense. While I like some stores in the
chain (especially the one in Manchester, CT and not the one in Pittsburgh,
PA), it does not seem to be a discount operation. However, one
theoretically can buy something immediately and walk out the door with it.
By contrast, Amazon and other websites offers many of the same items (often
for much less), but one has to wait for an item to be shipped. If a store
offers neither inventory nor cheap prices, what marketing niche is it
supposed to fill and why would one continue to shop there?
[snip] Vested interest? You a troll?
Reminds me of a story about the guy who walks into a store and asks for
a sabre saw and is told they don't carry any. Then he asks for a
cordless drill battery and they DON'T have that either. He starts
getting testy about this and the guy behind the counter asks "You Polish
Naturally this really torques the customer up a notch who demands "What
the hell does that have to do with it? All I want is a sabre saw and
damn drill battery. And, yes, I AM Polish as if it's any of your business."
"Thought so," said the clerk, "This is a butcher shop!"
The OP's bitch might have more meaning if he HAD called in and was told
they had one, he'd reserved it, and when he got there it was sold out
from under him. Or, alternatively, he'd specifically asked for the PC
dovetail jig, had been told "Yep, it's here" and upon arrival many miles
later learned they never did have one in stock but were all too ready to
move him up to a Leigh or Incra.
I don't care WHAT their business plan looks like. No one store can be
all things to all people nor can they stock (or keep in stock) every
single item their target customer base is likely to want.
The fact that Woodcraft, or Rockler's, or Sear's for crapsake, doesn't
have a certain item in stock tells me less about them than does the fact
that somebody is getting their shorts in a knot because they want
something so bad but can't order it or call before driving far enough to
get them pissed off because it's not sitting on a shelf with their name
on it. That, when you think about it, speaks volumes. Much like the
poster the other day who was ranting about Shop Fox not having a
distributor less than 30 minutes from his doorstep.
Whomever wrote that "you can't please everybody" certainly had a passing
acquaintance with some of these folks.
Try talking to someone at Amazon or for that matter any online order house
about a set up problem or what am I doing wrong. You'll get a recording.
Most employees at Woodcraft are woodworkers, and work there for discounts.
They don't profess to keep everything in stock that they have in their
catalogs, but they come real close.
As for the Porter Cable dovetail jigs. He probably for got to say that
is was the brand new jig, just out, and that all sources were limited to
quantities. We ordered 12 and got 7 who's fault is that ? We finally got
every body satisfied and went on to the next hot item. Calling ahead is
good. Each store has a set reorder point, if some one comes in and buys
everything that the store has, it is reordered on the next Tuesday. If
someone thinks ahead and calls us for a certain quantity of one certain
hinge we will make sure that we order extra to cover their needs leaving the
store inventory intact.
Don't stop shoping in a store because you are not realistic , before
long you'll be doing all of your shopping somewhere esle and that list will
soon get really short.
Ken in Indy
Yep, that'd be me. Just a couple of weeks ago I was extolling the glories of
Geetech 8" jointers from Leneave's as I'd just bought one from them. OTOH, I
did buy my Rikon 18" bandsaw from Woodcraft. My drill press and table saw came
from Home Depot (Ridgid). I have a RAS from Sears. 2 Porter Cable routers: one
from Woodcraft and one from Home Depot. I got a Milwaukee hammer drill from
Amazon. A Bosch jigsaw from Home Depot.... you get the idea.
I get around and call it as I see it. My view is that Woodcraft has a lot to
offer, at least in my area. But a vested interest? Not even close. I'm a
registered nurse by trade and play with tools as a hobby.
I agree with you fully, but don't see that what you are saying
disagrees with Doug. Certainly if the main thing one looks to
Woodcraft for is PC dovetail jigs, from this thread, it seems like
that is not the place to go. But Doug's point, as I understand it, is
a valid objection to the hyperbole that they don't stock anything, so
by extension should never be shopped at--they certainly do stock
items, and it is fun to shop there on occasion. If I have a particular
need, I will probably call before driving the 10 miles, but maybe
not--I may just drive over planning to browse if they don't have what
If I want lowest price, I probably will go to Amazon. If I need it
NOW, I will let my fingers do the walking to Highland Hardware,
Rockler, and Woodcraft.
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
My message, for reasons I don't know, followed Doug's. However, I am taking
issue to what he said. My point is that Gerald seems to be having problems
buying a dovetailing jig at his Woodcraft store and there seems to be a
great number of responders defending that store. It seems to me that a
store without adequate stock would not be one that would draw a lot of
business particularly when there are alternative places to shop (that even
have better prices). Moreover, I did not think that a dovetailing jig would
be considered an unusual item if one were operating a woodworker's store.
Perhaps, if Gerald wanted a Unisaw with specific options, then one would
understand an out-of-stock situation since that is an expensive item for any
store to inventory.
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