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Reed Gray
01-18-2016, 1:18 PM
I have received a couple of e-mails lately from a couple of companies in China. Apparently my 'interest' in CBN wheels has drawn attention. They want to sell me CBN grinding wheels. The pictures are all clones of the D Way, Optigrind which is the Raptor at Craft Supplies and the house brand for Woodcraft, and the Cuttermaster which is the Canadian one..... I am not sure if the Woodturningwonders wheels from Ken Rizza are in the mix or not. While it is accepted business practice, I have been on the receiving end of this with some of my other inventions, and will not support any of them, or the companies that sell them.

robo hippy

Russell Neyman
01-18-2016, 1:46 PM
You're being more polite about it than I would, Reed.

Sid Matheny
01-18-2016, 2:31 PM
Back years ago when I worked for Powermatic, Taiwan cloned some of their machines and used a copy of the Powermatic manuals. They even stated parts could be ordered from Powermatic if needed. It's a never ending battle!

Art Mann
01-18-2016, 6:15 PM
People like me are not supporting China. We are buying what we can afford. I can not afford to buy US manufactured machines and neither can most other people. American companies and factory workers priced themselves out of the woodworking machinery business a long time ago.

Dale Bonertz
01-18-2016, 8:15 PM
I get that Art and there lies the problem. You're not supporting China your supporting what you can afford which in turn supports China. I disagree with the comment about woodworking machinery in the USA costing more. It may cost more to make a higher quality tool like say Robust or Vicmarc but we can certainly make the same quality as a Powermatic here and be competitive with imported products. Just the greed of that extra $100 to $300 per machine by the owners of these companies is why they won't make them here. I know there is more to it than that like our corporate tax rates, EPA regulations and etc. But with our ingenuity in this country we certainly can compete however the powers to be don't want the challenge when they don't have to. Taking the easy road is to easy.

John K Jordan
01-18-2016, 8:19 PM
Some years ago this happened to Ruth Niles' excellent stainless steel bottle stoppers. Some guy shamelessly copied, milled, and tried to sell exact clones of her excellent stoppers. Some of us spread his contact information around and started a possibly impolite and loud barrage by email and other methods. I think he went away but that was a long time ago and don't know about the long term.

One thing might be to warn the community by listing the names of the companies to watch out for.

BTW, I watched your video today about the McNaughton coring tools. (I bought these long ago but never used them) I have to comment on how much I enjoyed the video - you have to be one of the clearest, calmest, and most professional and enjoyable presenters I have seen. I don't watch many videos and don't remember seeing any of yours in the past. Dang, now I'm going to have to look for some more.

Hey, here are Ruth's stainless stoppers if anyone is interested.
http://nilesbottlestoppers.com/stoppers.html

When I make stoppers, these are what I use.
329655

JKJ

Dale Bonertz
01-19-2016, 9:12 AM
Thanks John for the kind words on the video. I will save you time from searching, there is only the one video of me demonstrating.

Matt Schrum
01-19-2016, 10:50 AM
The company I work for designs and manufactures equipment for oil refineries and chemical plants worldwide. I know we have intentionally kept any of the design duties away from China. While we do source some castings from there (and if you don't go with the lowest bidder, they can produce some great castings), we don't want to risk them stealing our intellectual property for the system designs.

With work, I was at a loading facility in Madagascar a few years back. I worked with a fellow from a European company that made loading arms for the massive ships. He said their company worked with a Chinese company on a large project and that the Chinese company was great. Documented everything, worked well, very responsive, got the job done and was very professional. After their joint project, they more or less went their separate ways. A couple of years later this European company starting finding clones of their loading arms-- a different paint scheme, but otherwise exact clones-- popping up at ports around the world. As near as they can tell, the Chinese company worked with them on that one project to get what knowledge they could, then stole their design. They had no suspicions at the time this was happening as the company seemed respectable and legitimate in all of their interactions. This has definitely been something I've kept in the back of my mind since I heard their tale.

Art Mann
01-19-2016, 10:56 AM
I am afraid I am going to have to disagree with you on that point. I spent a career in the automotive components industry and one of my jobs was to help put together quotes on sales volumes in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. The plant I worked at, which employed 3,000+ people at one time, closed down because we couldn't come anywhere close to the quotes from our sister plant in Mexico. it wasn't even close. I had access to the figures from both plants so I know the whole story. The company could have kept the production in the US but then they wouldn't have been competitive with any other suppliers and the jobs would have disappeared for lack of business anyway. I can't imagine that the woodworking equipment business would be any different.


I get that Art and there lies the problem. You're not supporting China your supporting what you can afford which in turn supports China. I disagree with the comment about woodworking machinery in the USA costing more. It may cost more to make a higher quality tool like say Robust or Vicmarc but we can certainly make the same quality as a Powermatic here and be competitive with imported products. Just the greed of that extra $100 to $300 per machine by the owners of these companies is why they won't make them here. I know there is more to it than that like our corporate tax rates, EPA regulations and etc. But with our ingenuity in this country we certainly can compete however the powers to be don't want the challenge when they don't have to. Taking the easy road is to easy.

Adam Petersen
01-19-2016, 11:44 AM
It seems to me that our government should not deal in trade with a country that admits to stealing our intellectual property, attacking our web, and all the other nefarious BS that China does to gain a competitive advantage. I could care-less that they claim to be Communist, more Capitalist Communism than anything. If the government is aware of such trespasses though, it's an easy albeit expensive solution (at least in the short term), cease trade with them or place injunctions on them.

Dale Bonertz
01-19-2016, 12:21 PM
This will be my last post on this so I want to clear up what I was saying. First Art the reason American companies can't compete price wise has many layers. I'll point out but a few of them one is corporate tax rates being to high, EPA regulations to strict, osha regulations, liability and some wage issues but that is low on the list when compared to transportation to get there product here and if people earn more they can afford more (getting into a complex topic - wages - it is not a dollar for dollar increase in products as some want you to believe). If we competed with the same type of quality issues that China has, yes we can compete, where it gets muddy is we are accustomed to our quality being better thus we hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Matt I understand what you're saying however Powermatic isn't competing with China they are collaborating with China. China's economy will eventually collapse causing manufacturing issues and either manufacturing operations will move to another poor country or we (USA corporations) can decide to bring jobs back here and yes maybe pay a little more.

This all reminds me of someone I know. He rants about illegal immigrants and they should be sent home. But when he needed a new roof who did he hire, you guessed it a bunch of illegal immigrants. Ok for him to save a little money on his roof but damn those companies and other people hiring them.

In closing I also was a purchasing director of a company so I understand low bids. I am now a remodeling contractor (22 years) and really understand low bids. They are either done by new companies trying to acquire a reference list or companies who are cutting corners on quality of products and installation. When you factor in reject material and costs associated with finding, handling, warranty, service trips and sometime end up short on a part which slows production those costs are often overlooked by the bottom line (short list of problems). If they (companies) factored them into the cost of business paying a little more for a reliable product often times makes more sense. Unless of course their business plan is to go out of business when those costs get to high and then start up with a new name and no past liabilities. Just to clarify I am not naive I know they have figured much of it in the bottom line but the labor costs are often overlooked when comprising those numbers to deal with the low bid issues (form manufacturing through distributors, dealers and end users). Of course manufacturers don't give a hoot about what happens outside of their facility - now were getting into customer service and satisfaction, see you guys get me started so now I'll stop. :)

Ken Fitzgerald
01-19-2016, 12:28 PM
According to a report published last April, 55% of all American households own stock in US companies. So, when you try to blame owners of companies for problems, you are trying to blame a majority of US households. There are a lot of people who don't even realize their retirement plan is invested in the stock market.

We live in a capitalistic society. The object of a company is to produce a profit NOT furnish jobs at the expense of profit. You can argue all day what one might consider a fair profit but frankly it's subjective. It's funny how one can post on a website like SMC what a great profit they make from something they produce with a very high markup and then in the same breath call another company's profit "greed". A company that doesn't make a profit goes out of business, no longer helps the economy indirectly and supports nobody including their retirees.

The ONLY reason a company moves their production facilities offshore is because it's cheaper to manufacture goods there. The cost of labor, materials, energy, taxes and lower environmental standards make it more profitable to manufacture goods offshore. It always amazes me that organizations or groups that push for higher environmental standards or higher labor costs never want to accept their responsibility in driving up the cost to produce the same product or acknowledge the effect on the economy or jobs lost as a result. It's been nearly a half century since "Made in America" provided some assurance one would get a quality product either in materials or assembly.

While companies like Grizzly, for example, may not manufacture goods in this country, they do provide direct employment to hundreds within this country. They also affect the economy by using US shipping companies and other required services.

Point blank.

Most of the people on this board are amateurs or hobbyists. Most couldn't afford or if they can afford, can't justify the cost of expensive made in the USA tools for a hobby. In my shop, I have some US made tools, some European made tools and yes, some Asian made tools. I live on a budget thus when I think about buying a new tool, I consider the estimated use/importance in my shop and then determine what I can justify spending for that new tool.

If I had to buy only US or Canadian made tools, I would not have built a stand alone woodworking shop. Thus my contractor and his two carpenters wouldn't have received any financial benefit. A local lumberyard recommended the contractor so I insisted he buy his materials from them. They wouldn't have profited from my shop build.

So the alternative for a lot of folks is buy Asian made tools or not woodwork. There is no alternative available today.

When it becomes cheaper to manufacture products in the US, then manufacturing will return to the US.

Reed Gray
01-19-2016, 1:16 PM
For many businesses, the choice comes down to staying business, or closing the doors. The mass produced items just can't be done here any more due to the high cost of labor and the high costs of doing business in this country. For the 'custom' businesses, things are more specialty items are done here because the costs are not that much different once you add in shipping. We have become so expensive that we can't afford ourselves. Sad.

robo hippy

Kyle Iwamoto
01-19-2016, 1:20 PM
see you guys get me started so now I'll stop. :)

HUH?

You started it.

hu lowery
01-19-2016, 2:47 PM
Chinese companies aren't breaking the law cloning, chinese law. Also, if a chinese company has a contract to make a product, or any part of that product, when the contract ends the chinese company can make the entire product and legally use the brand name, inside china. Of course then the product escapes china gray market. Every foreign company that deals with china isn't ignorant of these facts, the demand is for profit today and don't worry about tomorrow. China is crawling with ford and chevy trucks now, the company did choose to put their own name on them though.

All the other costs mentioned are real but lets talk labor costs a minute. The company making emblems and other parts for ford and chevy a few years back in china made the news. Just as some side information to the safety issues it came out that they were paying their people almost a dollar an hour, forget overtime. No benefits, just the opposite, a worker provides their employer free benefits. Also, like we go to china for cheap production costs, they sub to north korea and a few other places for a third of the costs in china!

Something rarely mentioned is almost every casting we get from china is from a chinese government owned plant. Even our biggest corporations can't compete with governments.

We want more than we can afford. The American way I guess. Never-the-less, we are our own worst enemies. See y'all later, I got to make a Wal-Mart run!

Hu

Jeffrey J Smith
01-19-2016, 4:37 PM
When it becomes cheaper to manufacture products in the US, then manufacturing will return to the US.
Ken - while much of what you say is indeed true, don't forget to add into the equation that there are countries like China that have been more than willing to compromise the health of their citizens and perhaps the planet to forward their own economies. As they start to realize that being able to see across the street in Beijing may be a good thing, costs will rise there, too. We all pay the price for cheap goods.

David C. Roseman
01-19-2016, 5:36 PM
Wouldn't be SMC without a lively thread like this every few months. 18 posts so far, and it's still civil. :)

Dan Hintz
01-19-2016, 5:56 PM
It seems to me that our government should not deal in trade with a country that admits to stealing our intellectual property, attacking our web, and all the other nefarious BS that China does to gain a competitive advantage. I could care-less that they claim to be Communist, more Capitalist Communism than anything. If the government is aware of such trespasses though, it's an easy albeit expensive solution (at least in the short term), cease trade with them or place injunctions on them.

I'm always amused when this point comes up, as if we're such saints here in the US. FACT: Every country spies on every other country to the extent with which they believe they can get away with it. How many times has the US been caught with its hand in the cookie jar, and by countries we call "friends"?

The problem is the US is at the top of the heap when it comes to useful info worth stealing... so we get to point fingers and say "See? They're ripping us off!". Of course they are, since we're the ones with something worth ripping off in the first place. If roles were reversed and we were the third-world country as they were just a handful of years ago, you can bet your sweet bippy we'd be trying to grab as many "free" ideas as possible, too. We'd probably try to hide it a bit better, call it American Pride or some such, but we'd still want to equalize ourselves with them as much as possible.

We (military and private industry) pay exorbitant amounts of money on R&D, create something useful, then someone takes a shortcut and steals the final product. It's that simple. But eventually we'll all be pretty equal, and the amount of theft will steadily decrease (or more likely, equalize across all participants, between those who can afford the R&D and those who can't).

Dale Bonertz
01-19-2016, 6:30 PM
HUH?

You started it.

Nah, Robo did with his clone post. I just find it amusing at our double standards when it comes to our own pocket books versus others.

Shawn Pachlhofer
01-20-2016, 8:42 PM
Some years ago this happened to Ruth Niles' excellent stainless steel bottle stoppers. Some guy shamelessly copied, milled, and tried to sell exact clones of her excellent stoppers. Some of us spread his contact information around and started a possibly impolite and loud barrage by email and other methods. I think he went away but that was a long time ago and don't know about the long term.

One thing might be to warn the community by listing the names of the companies to watch out for.

BTW, I watched your video today about the McNaughton coring tools. (I bought these long ago but never used them) I have to comment on how much I enjoyed the video - you have to be one of the clearest, calmest, and most professional and enjoyable presenters I have seen. I don't watch many videos and don't remember seeing any of yours in the past. Dang, now I'm going to have to look for some more.

Hey, here are Ruth's stainless stoppers if anyone is interested.
http://nilesbottlestoppers.com/stoppers.html

When I make stoppers, these are what I use.
329655

JKJ

I don't remember hearing about Niles stoppers being cloned, but another product she sells - the Joyner Jig - was cloned by a person that now sells it under his product line..."Ron Brown's Best"

there was quite a heated thread about it on another forum where he claimed to have improved the jig...by selling a drawbar with it, and by selling it with a shot-blasted finish instead of the machined aluminium finish.

I doubt I will ever by another "Ron Brown's Best" product.

John K Jordan
01-20-2016, 9:35 PM
"Ron Brown's Best"

Thanks. I'll put "Ron Brown's Best" on my personal watch list.

JKJ

John Sanford
01-20-2016, 9:40 PM
Let's not forget POWERMATIC is owned by a US based tool conglomerate, JPW Industries. THEY CHOOSE TO SHIP THEIR MANUFACTURING OFF SHORE. Actually, most of PM's manufacturing was shipped offshore when they were owned by Walter Meier Holdings, a Swiss company. WMH snagged up Powermatic in '99 after PM's parent went into bankruptcy.


Can't blame the Chinese for being the lowest bidder. We can blame JPW for moving US jobs where workers make a living wage to under-developed countries where people work for a pittance, and where environmental and safety issues are not concerns. See "bankruptcy" above. The manufacturing jobs were already gone. WMH saved the non-manufacturing jobs.


What we can blame the Chinese for is the blatant ripping off of US and others designs and intellectual property. The aforementioned 60 Minutes report last Sunday 1/17/16 should have been an eye-opener to those who where not aware of the problem. the government of China has a stated policy of stealing intellectual property and then selling products made from it to the international market. Those who are unaware of the problem are highly unlikely to be watching 60 Minutes. Most people in this country are aware of it, they just don't care until the downside hits them personally.

Ryan Mooney
01-20-2016, 10:36 PM
According to a report published last April, 55% of all American households own stock in US companies. So, when you try to blame owners of companies for problems, you are trying to blame a majority of US households. There are a lot of people who don't even realize their retirement plan is invested in the stock market.

To right, and a lot of the problem is the value of quarterly "profits" over long term sustainability of the company. The amount of financial shenanigans that arises from that is astounding.

I'd bet a stale doughnut if you did a survey of companies who have kept manufacturing domestic there would be a relative preponderance of privately held enterprises.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-20-2016, 11:50 PM
Ryan,

I would disagree with you. I draw a small pension check from two large, well-known, global corporations. Both of them have many manufacturing plants around the USA.

One, for example, did build a new plant in China. The products manufactured there will be sold in China and other nearby Asian countries. The physical facts are that the equipment manufactured there are designed and made for use on smaller Asian patients. The equipment would be too small to use on the average US patient. Beyond that, China is where the current expanding market is for these equipment.

At the same time, this same company added manufacturing capability at one of their US sites and added several hundred jobs.

The equivalent equipment for sale in the US is still being manufactured in the US.

That same corporation is leading the way to bringing manufacturing back to the USA.

What? Yes!

In fact, they spent over $800,000,000 rehabbing several of their plants that were nearly idle in Kentucky. In the process of moving one product manufacturing back to the US plant, they actually made it more profitable and lowered the price by 20% to the consumer while doing it. The lesson learned by outsourcing was that it had some serious setbacks in being able to control quality, design and design changes. According to an article published by Forbes 3 years ago, it was short-sided decisions and a herd mentality by a number of MBAs with little experience in the real manufacturing world. One goal that was mistakenly followed "maximizing shareholder value". This from the same article published 3 years ago by Forbes.

Ryan Mooney
01-21-2016, 12:45 AM
I would disagree with you. I draw a small pension check from two large, well-known, global corporations. Both of them have many manufacturing plants around the USA.
<snip>
The lesson learned by outsourcing was that it had some serious setbacks in being able to control quality, design and design changes. According to an article published by Forbes 3 years ago, it was short-sided decisions and a herd mentality by a number of MBAs with little experience in the real manufacturing world. One goal that was mistakenly followed "maximizing shareholder value". This from the same article published 3 years ago by Forbes.

Well there is always a problem when speaking in generalities ;) I still reckon on the whole I'm mostly correct specific examples to the contrary. I do admit to lacking the motivation to try to assemble sufficiency of support evidence (and can find several other examples on the private side contrary to my statement as well).

The quality control and design issues span across other industries as well, I've seen the same thing in software. The interesting thing is that while you'd think folks would learn the lesson I've seen the same companies repeat the cycle several times with essentially the same results each time. The cycle over here seems to be somewhere between 5 and 10 years although in some of the more dysfunctional companies its been as short as a year or so. It would be interesting to know if the same cycle ends up happening with the companies you're mentioning in the long run (although the cycle should generally be longer given the overhead required for configuring manufacturing facilities as opposed to the less capital intensive overhead of moving intellectual capital around).

Ken Fitzgerald
01-21-2016, 1:46 AM
Ryan, the fact they spent the amount of money to improve an group of existing plants in one general area tells me they won't be repeating the process too often. It's expensive to move manufacturing to outsourcing but it is also expensive to move it back.

In general, I wonder how long it will take for companies to move back. I think that is the long term question and answer.

Bill Boehme
01-21-2016, 2:33 AM
People like me are not supporting China. We are buying what we can afford. I can not afford to buy US manufactured machines and neither can most other people. American companies and factory workers priced themselves out of the woodworking machinery business a long time ago.

Art would you want to work for the wages that are paid in some Asian countries? How about benefits, vacation, etc?

In many cases copyrights and patents are being ignored. Of course it is easier and less expensive to "borrow" a design than to develop it yourself.

On one hand, one can justify their actions by saying that they can't afford to pay higher prices. On the other hand, by doing so, it is exacerbating the problem ... often driving companies to move production overseas in order to stay in business. But, if we want to assign blame to anybody, let's give an extra large helping to ourselves ... we the consumers are the end of the chain and the source of the money that keeps it going ... and we're addicted to our enhanced spending power (a nice way of saying that we are greedy just in case anybody missed my point). By the way Europe, Australia, Japan, and much of the rest of the world is going through the same questions that we are asking ourselves.

Jason Edwards
01-21-2016, 9:51 AM
Amen Bill. If you want a good job for yourself, buy goods and services from your neighbors. Just look at all the great Mom and Pop businesses that have gone by the wayside when Walmart moved to town. Sure you save a little on the items you buy when you go there, but the Mom and Pops went out of business and their employees ended up in a blue smock working for less. It's the macro and micro economics thing they teach in any Economics 101 class. What is good for the individual (saving a few bucks at Walmart or Powermatic) is not good for society (keeping jobs in the US). So, when ever I can, I buck up and buy US. Fords and Chevies in the garage or driveway and a US Made lathe in the shop (you can guess the brand). Yes, I buy hardware from the local guys who know my name. I drive past the Walmart to get there.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-21-2016, 12:26 PM
Art would you want to work for the wages that are paid in some Asian countries? How about benefits, vacation, etc?

In many cases copyrights and patents are being ignored. Of course it is easier and less expensive to "borrow" a design than to develop it yourself.

On one hand, one can justify their actions by saying that they can't afford to pay higher prices. On the other hand, by doing so, it is exacerbating the problem ... often driving companies to move production overseas in order to stay in business. But, if we want to assign blame to anybody, let's give an extra large helping to ourselves ... we the consumers are the end of the chain and the source of the money that keeps it going ... and we're addicted to our enhanced spending power (a nice way of saying that we are greedy just in case anybody missed my point). By the way Europe, Australia, Japan, and much of the rest of the world is going through the same questions that we are asking ourselves.

Bill....are you saying the Asian workers would be better off not working, not having the income?


Amen Bill. If you want a good job for yourself, buy goods and services from your neighbors. Just look at all the great Mom and Pop businesses that have gone by the wayside when Walmart moved to town. Sure you save a little on the items you buy when you go there, but the Mom and Pops went out of business and their employees ended up in a blue smock working for less. It's the macro and micro economics thing they teach in any Economics 101 class. What is good for the individual (saving a few bucks at Walmart or Powermatic) is not good for society (keeping jobs in the US). So, when ever I can, I buck up and buy US. Fords and Chevies in the garage or driveway and a US Made lathe in the shop (you can guess the brand). Yes, I buy hardware from the local guys who know my name. I drive past the Walmart to get there.

Jason....I buy the best quality I can afford or justify. They also teach supply and demand in Economics 101. When the quality gets too bad the supply goes up because the demand is low. Care to spend an hour listening to my story about an American made Chevy Blazer, the absolute lack of attention to detail in assembly and the absolute lack of care on the part of customer service and management? It is an unwise personal financial decision to buy American just for the sake of buying American. It's been over 40 years since "Made In America" assured one of getting good quality.

You want my dollar? Earn it! Justify my spending my dollar for your product.

Jason Edwards
01-21-2016, 12:51 PM
Ken you're right, some of those vehicles from a few years back like the Blazer left a lot to be desired. A turd with a flag decal is still a turd.

BUT, competition has been good for American industry. You should look at what they are doing now.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-21-2016, 1:03 PM
Jason,

I agree.

These issues we are facing are complex. As much as some people would think there is a simple answer, there isn't.

hu lowery
01-21-2016, 1:29 PM
Bill....are you saying the Asian workers would be better off not working, not having the income?



Jason....I buy the best quality I can afford or justify. They also teach supply and demand in Economics 101. When the quality gets too bad the supply goes up because the demand is low. Care to spend an hour listening to my story about an American made Chevy Blazer, the absolute lack of attention to detail in assembly and the absolute lack of care on the part of customer service and management? It is an unwise personal financial decision to buy American just for the sake of buying American. It's been over 40 years since "Made In America" assured one of getting good quality.

You want my dollar? Earn it! Justify my spending my dollar for your product.


I considered investing in stock through a holding company years ago, or a mutual fund. Even if I went with an entirely US package of stocks I would still be investing probably fifteen percent in the far east due to the US companies' holdings and business model. Probably more like 25-33% now.

Things get mighty confusing. When we were annoyed with japan awhile back, a decade or two, about unfair marketing or some such a town canceled their Kubota order and ordered john deere instead. The Kubota equipment they canceled the order for was made in the US, the john deere equipment made in japan.

Do we support the US worker and ship the profits to japan or do we support the japanese worker and send the profits to the US? Even without considering where the investors for each company are located the answer to the problem is complicated. Someone I know well says support the US worker. I agree in the short term but I can't help thinking that this is ultimately a shortsighted viewpoint. When it comes down to this being the two choices I'm not very consistent, I'm genuinely confused what is best in terms of the big picture.

No manufacturer pays taxes. No big importer pays taxes. No business pays taxes. I have owned over a dozen businesses and never paid a dime of taxes on any of them. To survive I had to cover expenses and the cost of living. Those expenses include taxes and operating costs including wages, insurance, and safety related costs.

When you want the corporations including big oil and such to pay more taxes, remember you are adding taxes to yourself, the top end isn't going to pay the increased costs they are going to be passed on to the consumer, you and me!

I have wrestled with what is best for the US when I can't buy US made by a US owned company. The more I consider the problem the more confused I get. I believe in buying in circles. If possible I buy from my community. My fresh produce often comes from there. Next I buy from the nearest town, then from the nearest large city, my state, my country. Amazon nailed me on two orders recently. I didn't do my homework, both companies had US sounding names. Both orders shipped from mainland china! I was annoyed that I had directly supported china and annoyed about the wait for my shipments to come by slow boat and huge container from china. By the time the shipment got to me after being broken down into smaller and smaller units it was almost a month each. Funny thing, about another six weeks after my packages had arrived here I got an e-mail from one of the companies letting me know my package had shipped.

I like buying US made start to finish. I say that typing on a computer knowing that if I pull the cover off I will find components made in china and third world countries. That includes slave and virtual slave labor. Everyone reading this is sitting in front of a computer made with the same components.

When somebody buys my turnings they are buying one hundred percent American made! The tree was grown here and I turned the wood myself! Rah, Rah, support me! Ignore that much of my equipment is foreign made, much of the food I eat comes from foreign countries, much of my supplies from overseas sources, either raw materials or finished product.

I don't like it but we are truly a global society. My 'murican made truck is largely made in America! The major components were made in Canada and Mexico and assembled in the US. Even when we buy something with the "American Made" label we may be being mislead.

I say we should all, around the world, support our local economies and use my ring theory the most we can. It gets very confusing when we try to follow through on that idea though.

Hu

Dwight Rutherford
01-21-2016, 2:02 PM
Hu,
Well said!

Ryan Mooney
01-21-2016, 3:01 PM
Ryan, the fact they spent the amount of money to improve an group of existing plants in one general area tells me they won't be repeating the process too often. It's expensive to move manufacturing to outsourcing but it is also expensive to move it back.

In general, I wonder how long it will take for companies to move back. I think that is the long term question and answer.

Yeah, its an interesting question, I suspect a lot depends on the specifics of the industry. I've also noticed that a lot of the manufacturing moving back isn't translating into jobs the same way old manufacturing did. There are jobs, sure, but not nearly as many of them per product unit and they're generally higher end jobs. In at least some of these cases companies are finding that its cheaper to have robots than bodies and it makes just as much or more sense to have the robots domestic (once you count in all the other risk factors noted in this thread). So one could argue that in at least some of the cases the manufacturing moving back domestic is at least partially driven by changes in manufacturing practices (and robots are less likely to steal your processes).

I do still suspect in the long term (~20yr timeframe) we'll see some of the cycling back and forth. It would appear that at least some of the foreign manufacturing environments have built somewhat of a glut of capacity so that may drive some interesting short term behavior as well.


Back to the original story, here's a related tale of nefarious doings that is basically the same old story..

There were a line of knitting needles made from DymondWood by http://dyakcraft.com/ (dyakcraft no longer sells them unfortunately as they lost the source of their stock with the rutlands fire).
A major knitting craft supplier (http://www.knitpicks.com/) contracted with them to resell their needles, then promptly stole the design and started having it manufactured in India. They also tried to sue Dyakcraft about the use of the name "Harmony" for the needles (which dyakcraft had been using for several years prior to that) - fortunately KP lost that suit.
The manufacturer that KP was using in India shortly thereafter stole the design themselves and started selling them themselves as http://www.knitterspride.com/.
So KP ditched them and moved manufacturing to China and is selling yet-another knock off of the original DyakCraft as Caspian needles.
I'm not sure if the Chinese mfg has stolen the design yet, but I'd lay good odds on it..

Something about laying down with dogs and coming up with fleas.

Needless (needles .. heh) to say loml won't buy anything from knit picks or knitters pride either. She did get a set from DyakCraft when they were still making them.

Art Mann
01-22-2016, 1:51 AM
Manufacturing will never return to the US until our work force is willing to compete with foreign labor on a world market.

Ron Rutter
01-22-2016, 2:13 AM
WOW. Some pretty big ego's out there.
Funny I never seen any comment about the huge bucks CEO's make or the fact that Wall Street is a huge money machine that doesn't produce anything of real value, while many, many work for less than $10/hour!

John Keeton
01-22-2016, 7:45 AM
As has been noted by Hu and others, it is a complex dilemma. The Toyota Camry is the most popular car in America and it and the engines are manufactured in KY. That said, I am sure there are many foreign made components. On the other hand, there are also many satellite parts companies in KY that have formed to provide many of the components. Buying a Camry supports American workers in a huge way, though the profits go to Japan. This and the reverse of this happens all the time.

According to U S News and World Report, our Honda CR-V is 60% made in America, while a Ford Expedition is only 50%. Our nephew, who has been employed by Honda for years appreciates the support.

With TPP, I suspect much of ones ability to buy "USA" will change - at least as regards those 12 participating countries. The "Rules of Origin" will most likely provide that products meeting the standards will simply say "made in a TPP participating country" or some such phrase.

Dick Strauss
01-22-2016, 1:59 PM
I know that Alan Lacer's design ice cream scoop design was "cloned" AKA stolen. I don't remember the details but would suggest you either buy directly from him or contact him for where to buy the original. I think Rockler is his only authorized retailer though I could be wrong. Please check with him.

I've also had a woodworking tool design stolen by a person lacking their own moral compass and creative imagination.

Even though we like to pat ourselves on the back for buying US made, it isn't always so easy. As John K, Hu, and others mention, even when we buy a "US lathe", the lathe might be made with bearings from the US/China/Japan/Bulgaria/Italy/India, a Leeson motor made in US/Mexico/Canada or a Baldor motor made in US/Canada/Mexico/England/China. It is a global economy always accompanied by trade-offs.

Art Mann
01-22-2016, 2:45 PM
WOW. Some pretty big ego's out there.
Funny I never seen any comment about the huge bucks CEO's make or the fact that Wall Street is a huge money machine that doesn't produce anything of real value, while many, many work for less than $10/hour!

If you have never seen comments about overpaid corporate officials, then you have been living in a foreign country. The news is all over the place and I don't disagree with it. Unfortunately, paying executives a lower salary would not fix the problem. There aren't enough of them to matter in the grand scheme of things. The other side of that issue is that highly skilled corporate managers are rare and hard to find. The corporate world is chock full of mid level managers who were unable or unwilling to do what it takes to make it to the top. I limited my own career because I valued family, friends, free time and where I live more than money. It is the law of supply and demand at work. If the supply is low for a valuable commodity (like top executive talent) then the price will be bid up. Steve Jobs was one of the highest paid people anywhere and yet hardly anyone who is in the know would say he wasn't worth it. He turned a dying computer company into one of the highest valued companies on earth. On the other hand, labor has become lower valued due to automation and the existence of foreign competition. That either reduces pay scales or causes companies to relocate manufacturing to other countries. I am not saying I like it but it is just the reality of the modern world economy.

John Sanford
01-23-2016, 1:13 AM
WOW. Some pretty big ego's out there.
Funny I never seen any comment about the huge bucks CEO's make or the fact that Wall Street is a huge money machine that doesn't produce anything of real value, while many, many work for less than $10/hour!

Wall Street, with all it's shortcomings (and they are legion), absolutely DOES produce something of very, very real value. Wall Street matches resources (i.e. money) with need. Wall Street is essentially "Shark Tank" writ large. I invite you to offer up a solution for getting the money to develop and build the first Boeing 787 that doesn't involve Wall Street.

Geoff Whaling
01-23-2016, 4:05 AM
By the way Europe, Australia, Japan, and much of the rest of the world is going through the same questions that we are asking ourselves.


Bill is correct, companies like Woodfast, a long standing Australian manufacturer based in South Australia, faced a dwindling sales order book for many complex reasons. They got into difficulties, they were no longer "competitive" but now their intellectual property (IP) is the basis for a successful product line that is sold under many brands in several countries. Would you have had access to a Rikon 70-500 or a Record Maxi lathe if that did not happen? I would think not because the original Woodfast could not compete internationally and went down. Other current manufacturers such as Vicmarc, Vermec, Oneway, Omega, ...... will all face the same fate if you the customer will not support them.

I would also add that in many cases it really does not matter if 1 or 2% (at best) of the population of a country actually support ethically sourced / manufactured products - that is not enough to ensure the survival of a locally manufactured product to the scale required to make it a viable manufacturing business. Talk is cheap, best intentions don't translate into orders.

The short of it, the designs and IP, casting molds etc for many of these struggling companies were legally acquired through a fire sale of assets by the liquidators. In other instances the IP has simply been ripped off, which is not illegal in the country of manufacture. It is a risk that CEO's must factor in when manufacturing off shore.

Go back a little in time in many western countries it was a treasonable offence to export products, technology or anything to do with IP to a communist country. Globalization is the enemy of local manufacturing and the economic welfare of workers in ANY economy, capitalist or communist. Profit trumps the welfare of workers, always will while there is human greed.

Even artists at SOFA etc are complaining of organized intellectual property theft and blatant breaches of copyright. In Australia artists represented by the successful "Artists in the Black" program have brought actions against large retailers for selling products which infringe on their copyright. It does work some times - if you have money or pro-bono support from a benefactor.

Hilel Salomon
01-23-2016, 9:19 AM
I promised myself that I wouldn't get into this, but.... . First off I'm not only not a hater of China, Japan or India, but in fact taught Chinese and Japanese history and philosophy for over 30 years. Japan drove our steel industry out of business by using government sponsored Japanese industries to undersell and undercut America's. China learned from this. American industries cannot compete with foreign government sponsored industries which do not enforce health, safety or quality standards. I do not particularly blame China and India for this, but I do blame the American industries and businesses that are complicit in this. American executives, who are the highest paid in the world by far, have been flocking to China and India and reaching deals which they know will mean that patents will be duplicated and their own companies will suffer. They don't care, because their balloon clauses and stock options will be sold and cashed in well before this happens. While it is true that the stock market perse is not like our health insurance industry in that it actually does perform a service, hedge fund operators, and financial manipulators do not perform such a service. This isn't a republican vs. democrat issue as companies like GE which ship jobs overseas, own Washington, DC no matter who occupies the White House. In my opinion socialism doesn't work and certainly communism doesn't either. Capitalism run entirely by greed cannot work unless there are independent checks and balances which assure us that the little guys don't get run over by such greed. I don't think that there is anything wrong in trying to buy American made goods and dealing with locally owned stores.

Art Mann
01-23-2016, 1:11 PM
I don't think that there is anything wrong in trying to buy American made goods and dealing with locally owned stores.

No, but I think there is a lot wrong with people trying to create guilt in buyers of foreign products. Neither do I approve of people lying about the quality of foreign made equipment which they have never owned or used.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-23-2016, 1:41 PM
Hilel,

As a history professor, how much profit did you or your employer directly generate? Did you work for a private or state funded institution?

What is your experience in working in the corporate world?

hu lowery
01-23-2016, 8:27 PM
I promised myself that I wouldn't get into this, but.... . First off I'm not only not a hater of China, Japan or India, but in fact taught Chinese and Japanese history and philosophy for over 30 years. Japan drove our steel industry out of business by using government sponsored Japanese industries to undersell and undercut America's. China learned from this. American industries cannot compete with foreign government sponsored industries which do not enforce health, safety or quality standards. I do not particularly blame China and India for this, but I do blame the American industries and businesses that are complicit in this. American executives, who are the highest paid in the world by far, have been flocking to China and India and reaching deals which they know will mean that patents will be duplicated and their own companies will suffer. They don't care, because their balloon clauses and stock options will be sold and cashed in well before this happens. While it is true that the stock market perse is not like our health insurance industry in that it actually does perform a service, hedge fund operators, and financial manipulators do not perform such a service. This isn't a republican vs. democrat issue as companies like GE which ship jobs overseas, own Washington, DC no matter who occupies the White House. In my opinion socialism doesn't work and certainly communism doesn't either. Capitalism run entirely by greed cannot work unless there are independent checks and balances which assure us that the little guys don't get run over by such greed. I don't think that there is anything wrong in trying to buy American made goods and dealing with locally owned stores.



Hilel,

I avoided going into this in detail partially because it is slightly off topic but you are 100% right as I'm sure you know. Japan didn't just target our steel industry, they targeted one area of our manufacturing after another with government subsidized manufacturers over there. As you say, china learned from them. One of the major reasons that japan was so successful attacking our steel industry is that after the war some of our finest minds in the steel industry went to japan and built the latest and greatest plants. The US plants were all roughly fifty years older and many improvements had been made since then, all incorporated into the mills they built for japan. "The Mouse that Roared" I believe was the title of a great little movie mocking this.


Geoff,

I was a high tech asset back in the nineties. There was a full page of countries I couldn't work in or export my knowledge to. Some of the countries on that list would surprise many people! There was a short list of countries I couldn't even visit or fly over. Long, long, time ago and I can barely turn on a computer these days.

Hu

Ron Rutter
01-24-2016, 1:46 AM
Oh I have seen those comments. Legion. What part of " comment re topic" didn't you get? Wow. More EGO!

Reed Gray
01-24-2016, 1:53 PM
Well, this thread has diverged quite a bit. Didn't expect this. For sure, marketing is a complex issue. Survival traits do make for friction... I think a line from a movie was some thing like 'We need to stop thinking as individuals, and start thinking as a species.'

robo hippy

Geoff Whaling
01-24-2016, 3:15 PM
Well, this thread has diverged quite a bit. Didn't expect this. For sure, marketing is a complex issue. Survival traits do make for friction... I think a line from a movie was some thing like 'We need to stop thinking as individuals, and start thinking as a species.'

robo hippy


Reed,

For the wood turners who don't know the story behind many of these products do you have any suggestions on how to support the "original"? A few of us have read the stories behind some of these product appropriations but I have heard that there are many more out there.

I like to support "Australian Made" first then "Australian Owned" if possible but that is becoming increasingly difficult in many areas of our economy. Fortunately it is much easier in Queensland as we have two very good family based small manufacturing businesses Vicmarc and Vermec catering to wood turners desires. I guess I'm being both selfish and thinking for the benefit of the collective in a way by suggesting other turners support Vicmarc, Vermec and the many other small businesses in Australia, the US, Canada, UK, EU etc who actually listen to their customers and do invest significant resources (for them) into R&D. Without them we would not have choice.

Reed Gray
01-24-2016, 10:28 PM
Well, forums are good places for people posting about clones. It does raise problems for the moderators though because they have to sift through them and figure out what is 'correct and/or proper' to post so it isn't just about sour grapes. There was one here not too long ago. Word does get around. I am surprised that no one has tried to clone my robo rest yet or at 'new and improve it. Maybe I got it so simple that it isn't worth the effort. If some one can do me one better, more power to them. If I do some one better on their idea, I want to work with them so we both can share.

I was getting the calls from some where by people claiming to work for Microsoft with the horrible accents. I asked one of them once 'Doesn't it bother you to lie like this?' He said 'nope'. I told him 'You are what's wrong with the world' and hung up.

robo hippy

John K Jordan
01-25-2016, 3:40 PM
I am surprised that no one has tried to clone my robo rest yet or at 'new and improve it.

It's a nice design. I've seen other home-built rests that were quite close, but none for sale and none with your indexing pins - just have calibrated angle marks. (i.e., Darlow's "linishing jig" in figures 4.32 and 4.52 in Fundamentals of Woodturning) I like your cutout that fits close to the stone/CBN wheel.

I actually am considering building a rest myself someday that uses a screw for fine angle adjustment.

And darn it, you are responsible for influencing me to order a third CBN wheel! :-)

Unfortunately, patenting is so expensive it is hardly worth it for small things. And a patent won't stop the Chinese factories anyway.

JKJ

Reed Gray
01-25-2016, 4:14 PM
Patents are part of the legal game. $10,000 at least to file a utility patent... Stuart Batty had 'issues' with my rest relative to his 'patent pending' model. After reading his application I did an eye roll that would have done any teenager proud. My lawyer sent his lawyer a letter with my arguments basically stating that every thing I based my design on were older than Stuart's dad, or mine (93 years and still goes into work every day). I mean, how long has a protractor been around???

I have looked at the screw design and thought it has possibilities for micro adjustments, but the micro adjustments would take too much time unless the set up resulted in positive indents for repeatability. Tormek now has one for adjusting their tool rest bar out and back, which might help a bit. I have pondered Lyle Jamieson's threaded tool rest posts with the nut on them for adjustment up and down as well.

I may have to get one more CBN wheel. I need to experiment with the really fine grit ones mostly to see what type of burr they raise on my scrapers for shear scraping.

I do not have a tool buying problem!!! Well, not much of one.... My interest is purely scientific!!!! Probably comes from being the son of an engineer who infected me with the 'if it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it anyway' syndrome....

robo hippy

John K Jordan
01-26-2016, 5:30 PM
but the micro adjustments would take too much time unless

My thought was to use two concentric pivots, one with a protractor to set the desired angle, then mount that within a second pivot that could rock the first assembly back and forth with the screw adjustment. The angle would be set as usual by releasing a lock and aligning a mark with a scale. Since the initial angle would be set by eye the position the adjusting screw happened to be in wouldn't matter unless the screw was at the wrong end of the range. This was only a thought not yet put to paper so it may be impractical. If I can prove to myself it will work I may make one in my "spare" time for my own use. (If anyone wants to beat me to it and develop and market one, have at it!)

I use a 600 grit 10" wheel from Ken Rizza on my Tormek. I like the way it works. It does not grind as fine as the water wheel but I'm afraid a finer wheel would be very slow.

I know a guy in the patent office. I can't believe some of the nonsense. I have no personal patents but those with my name on them were painless (for me) since my employer had a office with a team of lawyers, secretaries, and deep pockets. :-) All we had to do was come up with the inventions. And write the application. And rewrite...

JKJ

Hilel Salomon
01-27-2016, 9:38 AM
Ken,
As a matter of fact I was a consultant for over a dozen American businesses wishing to do business with China. I also worked for the US as an analyst ( I graduated as a physicist) before I became a Sinogolist professor. I didn't know that universities were supposed to generate profit. In my naivete, I thought that we were supposed to generate critical thinking.

Hilel Salomon
01-27-2016, 9:43 AM
Hu,

What you said about Japanese manufacturing was especially true in the automotive field. When, I was invited to tour Honda, I learned that all the robotics being used early on had been developed in the US. This was, according to some of my knowledgeable friends, also true for Toyota and Nissan.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-27-2016, 1:33 PM
Ken,
As a matter of fact I was a consultant for over a dozen American businesses wishing to do business with China. I also worked for the US as an analyst ( I graduated as a physicist) before I became a Sinogolist professor. I didn't know that universities were supposed to generate profit. In my naivete, I thought that we were supposed to generate critical thinking.

Hilel,

While you ignored direct answers to my questions, you did identify a problem, as there is a significant difference between living within the confines of a budget and generating a profit. It's a totally different sport!

Once I was taken to lunch by 2 university professors, one, a female from Australia. After lunch we continued our discussions back at the university. Some months later when one of the professors was published, he sent me a copy of the article, with a cover letter. In the cover letter he thanked me for my contribution as he used our discussions as a major reference and even acknowledged my contribution within the article itself. I didn't find, however, it made me an expert on that university or any university for that matter.

And while critical thinking is fine, those who generate these theories owe it to themselves and their audiences to remain open minded, even skeptical of that which they profess and temper it as necessary so that generated theory more closely resembles reality.

Bob Vavricka
01-27-2016, 3:21 PM
I can't contribute to the current conversation, but was wondering why this thread hasn't been moved to the Off Topic Forum. I find it has little to do with woodturning.

Keith Outten
01-27-2016, 6:10 PM
Bob,

You're right....I moved this thread to off topic.
Gentlemen if we can get back to the original topic as it applies to woodworking machines.

Reed Gray
01-28-2016, 12:30 AM
The original topic of the thread was about woodturning items, but it took a detour. So, getting back to the topic, I am wondering who made the first hardened drill rod tool rests? Was that Brent English of Robust? Who was the first to use carbide tipped tools?

robo hippy

Dick Strauss
01-29-2016, 10:44 AM
Reed,
Folks were making the drill rod tool rests long before Brent began marketing them. The same is true of the of the EW carbide tools.

roger wiegand
01-29-2016, 2:16 PM
The 1950's Delta lathe I bought in 1983 came with a (non-OEM) tool rest made from a piece of drill rod. I don't think Robust existed then.