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View Full Version : And people will still ask why so much is made overseas.



Dave Lehnert
12-31-2006, 5:09 PM
Just a quick look at Northfield wed site shows a USA made 8" Jointer is $9,650 (the lowest priced unit). A Grizzly can be had for less than a $1,000
So honestly, if no overseas made jointers were available to us. How many of us woodworkers spend $10,000 for a jointer? I for one would not be in the hobby.

Wilbur Pan
12-31-2006, 5:22 PM
One of my favorite cartoons this year showed a couple in the grocery store shopping for orange juice. The wife looks at the carton and says, "This orange juice is made from oranges picked only by American workers. It costs $43." :rolleyes:

Frank Chaffee
12-31-2006, 7:23 PM
I suspect that the workers who produce a jointer that we can purchase for $1000 in the USA do not have discretionary funds for obtaining same.

Centers of new creativity, wealth, power, productivity and influence have always moved about the face of the earth. Cultures, countries, ways of thought, have all grown and changed cyclically through history, in a way similar to the succession of the four seasons.

Wishing all Earthlings a very Happy New Year,
Frank

Thomas Walker
01-01-2007, 11:13 AM
We've been through this topic before, but many of these arguments are specious. Many US corps move operations overseas to avoid taxes, not because of labor costs. In many cases any labor cost savings are negated by additional freight charges.

However, US congress allows multi-national corporations to declare where they make their profit on the product. If they declare they made it in China they don't pay US tax -- even if it is sold in America.

A prime example is that our 2nd largest country of import is Canada. They certainly don't have an advantagious labor cost structure vs the US. 75% of imports from Canada are manufactured goods.


The problem is our govt trade policies. CEO's and investment bankers get rich -- the average American gets screwed.

Jim Evans
01-01-2007, 11:30 AM
Companies make or buy stuff in low cost countries because they have to. This is simplistic but there is truth to it - for several reasons. The company I work for makes product in the US and we make product in China/Taiwan. US costs are extremely higher than C/T. Shipping does not make the product equal in price. We have a lot more costs here than in C/T.

And look out for India - they are becoming the new lost cost producer.

Now we have to compete with other folks making the same thing - they have moved off shore and now have lower costs and sell their stuff cheaper than we can. We are "forced" to move offshore to have a cheaper cost product so we can compete.

And not we throw the consumer in the mix. Joe Six Pack stands in the aisle at Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Ace, etc and looks at two products and picks the cheaper one. But wait one is made in America - most don't care, they pick the cheaper one. You say many care about where it made - I have asked end users buying my product and many say they want a quality product at the best price.

My .02

Frank Hagan
01-01-2007, 3:19 PM
A prime example is that our 2nd largest country of import is Canada. They certainly don't have an advantagious labor cost structure vs the US. 75% of imports from Canada are manufactured goods.


Actually, for manufacturing, Canada is much cheaper. Labor usually represents from 50 to 75% of a manufactured product in the US. If you look at the analysis at http://www.competitivealternatives.com/highlights/components.html you see that for labor, Canada is second only to Singapore on the countries they looked at, and ahead of the US. They are the second lowest among the countries looked at on that page when you consider not only direct labor cost but also statutory plans and other employer sponsored benefits.

Combine that with the facility cost, the second highest component in most manufacturing operations (lease or mortgage, property taxes, building maintenance) and you see that this chunk of cost, at about 20% of the cost of the manufactured good, is lowest in Canada, followed by Italy, the United States and France.

Canada also enjoys beneficial shipping rates compared to far east companies, but the labor and facility costs are so much cheaper in China and Taiwan that a comparison between Canadian costs and them looks almost the same as between the US and them.

But when you look at Canada compared to the US, it is cheaper to manufacture in Canada. I know this because my company is facing some very stiff competition from low cost manufacturing in Canada, with products sold for less than our manufacturing cost.

John Gornall
01-01-2007, 4:05 PM
Does this American company Northfield sell any jointers at this price?

Who does it sell them to?

Why do these people or companies buy them instead of a grizzly?

Cliff Rohrabacher
01-01-2007, 5:40 PM
Just a quick look at Northfield wed site shows a USA made 8" Jointer is $9,650 (the lowest priced unit). A Grizzly can be had for less than a $1,000
So honestly, if no overseas made jointers were available to us. How many of us woodworkers spend $10,000 for a jointer? I for one would not be in the hobby.

Sounds pricey Except the Northfield is the single number one best wood cutting tool maker on the planet. In my not so very humble opinion.

They have lagged behind the Euros on table saw design but as for their planars and jointers Well Grizz and Felder PM and MM are not even in the same ball park.

Northfield tends to prefer simplicity and they take it to near perfect scale.

Laurie Brown
01-01-2007, 5:57 PM
Shoot, I can't even afford $1,000 for a planer, much less ten grand!

Thomas Prondzinski
01-01-2007, 7:05 PM
I live about thirty miles from the Northfield manufacturing plant. My wood supplier has a 27 or 30 inch double sided planer, I think he said cost is about 27,000 but if he wants to he can take I think 1/4" of both sides of hard maple and it won't miss a beat. So I think these are not in the same field. These are true industrial machines, not tiawan or chinese imports.


Tom

Per Swenson
01-01-2007, 7:56 PM
Awe come now Folks,

Let us put it in perspective.

Some of the hobbyist's here produce master class work.

Now if you quit your day job after securing a market and customer base,

next thing you know, your grossing in the low 7's high 6 figures.

You have to send that money back in the business.

Betcha wouldn't blink at a Northfield then.

I may duct tape and glue my work boots, but when it comes to

tools and tires I never skimp. I became a little older and wiser then when

in my twenty's, I went to work with a hammer, tape, pencil , ball of string

and a rock from the side of the road as a plumb bob.

Per

lou sansone
01-01-2007, 8:27 PM
Just a quick look at Northfield wed site shows a USA made 8" Jointer is $9,650 (the lowest priced unit). A Grizzly can be had for less than a $1,000
So honestly, if no overseas made jointers were available to us. How many of us woodworkers spend $10,000 for a jointer? I for one would not be in the hobby.

Northfield's machines are not "hobby" machines and not directed toward that market. Price a Felder, SCMI, Panhans or a Martin and you will find that the Northfield machine is a bargain. You are not comparing apples to apples.

Lou

Curt Fuller
01-01-2007, 10:01 PM
Centers of new creativity, wealth, power, productivity and influence have always moved about the face of the earth. Cultures, countries, ways of thought, have all grown and changed cyclically through history, in a way similar to the succession of the four seasons.

Frank

So based on that perspective, where do you think the good old USA is today, about late September?

My biggest complaint isn't so much with the price but with the quality of many, not all, goods made overseas. In another 100-150 years there won't be any Antiques Roadshow because nothing that is being made today will last that long!

Dennis Peacock
01-01-2007, 11:15 PM
This is a good topic and a very good discussion. As long as we all stay civil, the thread will stay.

Steve Schoene
01-01-2007, 11:16 PM
However, US congress allows multi-national corporations to declare where they make their profit on the product. If they declare they made it in China they don't pay US tax -- even if it is sold in America..

Not quite so simple as a straight declaration. The transfer pricing--which largely determines where the profits are earned on goods produced abroad and imported into the US must be correct, and are the frequent subject of tax audits.

Steve Schoene
01-01-2007, 11:29 PM
Does this American company Northfield sell any jointers at this price?

Who does it sell them to?

Why do these people or companies buy them instead of a grizzly?

It's simple--in production situations its quite easy to lose $10,000 of profit if a jointer breaks down for even a relatively short period of time. It's all about time between failure, and there just isn't any comparison between industrial machines like Northfield, or Altendorf, or Martin and others.

Grizzly isn't made to be used 8 or 16 hours a day for weeks on end, with sharp blades swapped out between shifts, etc. Just the extra time spent by highly skilled and paid techs to tweak a Grizzly into production accuracy to begin with could account for much of the price difference.

Frank Chaffee
01-02-2007, 12:02 AM
Awe come now Folks,
Let us put it in perspective.
Some of the hobbyist's here produce master class work.
I became a little older and wiser then when
in my twenty's, I went to work with a hammer, tape, pencil , ball of string
and a rock from the side of the road as a plumb bob.
Per
Yup Per,
And I have seen pubescent humans and pre-, producing work that puts us video-gaming car driving background music listening always distracted beings to shame. The ability to be skillful is inherent in human genes, but I think that our (USA), way of life is not nourishing the development and expression of a broad enough range of our intelligence, and I fear that this is weakening our resilience for survival. Guys like you are what, 1/100,000,000? Cheap maybe, but few and far between.

So based on that perspective, where do you think the good old USA is today, about late September?
Curt,
I doubt it matters what I think, but considering that today, New Years Day, there is no snow on the ground in SW Wisconsin, and the temps are expected to be near the mid-forties for another week, Id best retract any seasonal analogies from my argument.

My biggest complaint isn't so much with the price but with the quality of many, not all, goods made overseas. In another 100-150 years there won't be any Antiques Roadshow because nothing that is being made today will last that long!
Curt,
If you have any predictions for humanity 150 years from now, you are a far greater optimist than I. I am wondering whether homo sapiens are a viable species on this earth.

Brian Elfert
01-02-2007, 8:09 AM
My High School wood shop was built in the 50s or 60s. The shop has (had?) all Northfield tools including 16" table saw, large planer, 20" band saw, large jointer, and a shaper. The radial arm saw was a Delta 14" or 16" turret style. The shop also had a 14" Rockwell Delta band saw and a few Delta lathes.

My high school is 50 or 60 miles from Northfield so I suppose it made sense to buy from them at the time. I can't see any school spending that much these days.

They are very nice tools, but lacking modern safety features like motor brakes and such. The band saw had a foot brake. One kid forgot to brake it one day and put his hand into the back of the still spinning blade and sliced his hand badly.

I'm not sure if there is still a wood shop or not. I should have gone to the open house a few years back after they expanded and completely renovated the school.

Brian Elfert

Mike Wilkins
01-02-2007, 8:49 AM
When comparing the Northfields of the world to the imports, you have to keep a couple of things in perspective. Northfield makes machinery for the professional market, and machines in this category must perform day in and day out without a hiccup. Us hobbiest woodbutchers don't push our machines as hard; hence lower cost machines.
2nd point is that there is a larger market for the hobbiest line of tools than for the pro. A pro will buy one machine and use it hard for a decade, while the weekend warrior will push his machines for only a few minutes at a time.
That's my nickels' worth.

Rob Russell
01-02-2007, 10:32 AM
Sounds pricey Except the Northfield is the single number one best wood cutting tool maker on the planet. In my not so very humble opinion.

They have lagged behind the Euros on table saw design but as for their planars and jointers Well Grizz and Felder PM and MM are not even in the same ball park.

Northfield tends to prefer simplicity and they take it to near perfect scale.

There are many professional woodworkers who consider the Martin equipment to be the best available. The Martins easily exceed the Northfield in cost.

Bart Leetch
01-02-2007, 11:19 AM
Cadillacs & Lincolns easily cost more than Chevy's too but even if I had the money I wouldn't buy a Cadillac or Lincoln there are to many creature comfort items & electronics to go bad. I have seen this happen on car after car from these particular manufactures. Air suspension is just one of these items.