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Thread: Woodcraft and LN

  1. #1
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    Woodcraft and LN

    I just received the new monthly Woodcraft catalog and noticed that all the LN tools were no longer represented.

    I remember being told in Spring of 2009 by the LN VP of Sales that some things were happening with Woodcraft that weren't all positive. He didn't go into much detail due to litigious reasons I suppose. (BTW, I'm a nobody - the VP of sales happened to be giving me and a buddy a plant tour and being small business men ourselves, we had a neat opportunity to talk shop in that regard.)

    So, did I miss some scuttle-butt on the creek? Maybe I'm re-hashing old news...

  2. #2
    From what I understand, LN has significantly reduced the number of retail outlets selling their products. There was a story on it somewhere but I can't remember where right now.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
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    Not sure if a subscription is needed or not (I have one), but here is one link that should shed some light on this:
    http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/...raft-part-ways

  4. #4
    Yeah John, we kicked this one around right after it was officially announced. The worst part is that a potential LN buyer now has less chances to put an actual tool in their hands before buying it. If you were already a catalog buyer or on-line buyer only, you probably don't think much about the whole affair. , but, it caused alot of talk when it was a fresh topic

  5. #5
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    I noticed this the last couple times I was in my local Woodcraft. I have a LN dovetail saw and would eventuely like to add to the collection with more LN backsaws.

    Now Woodcraft is carrying a whight handeled dovetail saw for $200ish. glad I got my LN before they stopped carrying it.
    Andrew Gibson
    Infinity Cutting Tools

  6. #6
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    The white handled DT saw is probably Rob Cosman's...

    Jim

  7. #7
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    The worst part is that a potential LN buyer now has less chances to put an actual tool in their hands before buying it.
    LN has tool events all across the country. I know in some places they may be hard to attend or too far away. From the article linked in a previous post, they are working toward having 100 of these a year. That is a lot of work in it self.

    The good thing in my understanding is LN wants satisfied customers. I would expect satisfaction or my money back from any of their products. Personally, I am pretty happy with my old Stanley/Bailey planes that have been tuned up. There will be an LN tool event in my area in a few weeks that I am planning to attend. My hope is to give a lot of their planes a test drive.

    jim
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #8
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    I was in a WC a couple weeks ago and the store guys were having a discussion about LN. According to them--and who the heck knows if they are right or wrong--each store can still choose to deal with LN direct.

  9. #9
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    Perhaps LN finally caught on that the "Woodriver" line of planes was just a Bedrock in disguise... LN seems to have "exclusive rights" to the flat top these days. Oh, if leonard bailey were here to see this, he would certainly be on LN's side considering his own perceived injustices with SR&L.

  10. #10
    In my experience, the LN tool events are the best way to see/test LN tools. They seem to bring just about ALL of their tools to be used and tested on their workbenches with wood scraps. The LN crew is on hand to answer the questions you have and demonstrate how to properly use them. I bought a carcass saw in Indy last summer and was happy they had them in stock for me to take home. What's more is that there were other tool makers there as well. With regards to hand saws, I got to thoroughly test all of the LN saws, the Eccentric saws and, thanks to Chris S., the Bad Axe saws too!

    By contrast, at my Woodcraft I was never able to test any LN tools. They had the LN's locked up in a cabinet and I had to have it unlocked first with the sales guy standing there waiting. Kinda awkward. And of all the guys I've talked to there, only one (gal), seemed to know much about hand tools. The last time I went there the sales guy was really pushing the WoodRiver line. I was even told I could expect to spend at least an hour tuning up a Lie-Nielsen before I could use it.

    Personally, I don't think I'm missing much not having LN's at Woodcraft. I have plenty of dependable and honest feedback from people I've come to trust in this forum as well as other blog sites for me to make a decision on LN tools. And, if it turns out I'm not satisfied with a purchase from LN, they stand behind them enough for me to return them for a full refund.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info. I figured I missed the boat on all the threads about this... Ah, well. you'll have this i guess.

    I'll have to read through the finewoodworking.com article - i missed that one somehow too.

    I guess i've been too busy lately...kitchen project is coming to a quick close - so i should have more cold, wintry nights to huddle in front of the laptop and peruse articles and threads of yore.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMorgan of Lititz View Post
    I just received the new monthly Woodcraft catalog and noticed that all the LN tools were no longer represented.

    I remember being told in Spring of 2009 by the LN VP of Sales that some things were happening with Woodcraft that weren't all positive. He didn't go into much detail due to litigious reasons I suppose. (BTW, I'm a nobody - the VP of sales happened to be giving me and a buddy a plant tour and being small business men ourselves, we had a neat opportunity to talk shop in that regard.)

    So, did I miss some scuttle-butt on the creek? Maybe I'm re-hashing old news...
    L-N apparently made the arbitrary decision that they were the only authorized copier of the Bedrock design and that they also have a monopoly on the use of bronze. Maybe we can dig up some Bronze Age woodworkers and sue them.

  13. #13
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    I don't think the matter is simple as that. Probably there were a lot of things within their business agreement or commitment that went astray which we wouldn't know anything about.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMorgan of Lititz View Post
    I just received the new monthly Woodcraft catalog and noticed that all the LN tools were no longer represented.

    I remember being told in Spring of 2009 by the LN VP of Sales that some things were happening with Woodcraft that weren't all positive. He didn't go into much detail due to litigious reasons I suppose.
    More likely he didn't go into detail because in the long run, it's bad business to be bashing your former business partners if a former relationship comes to an end.

  15. #15
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    The last time I went there the sales guy was really pushing the WoodRiver line. I was even told I could expect to spend at least an hour tuning up a Lie-Nielsen before I could use it.
    In the world of retail, they often call them "push items" or there may be "spiffs" involved. A spiff is a little extra in the pay check for performance. If each time a sales person was credited a few bucks for each customer they steered toward the "push item," you can bet they are going find that quite spiffy and to try to sell you on that.

    I am not sure about the "rights" to make the flat top Bedrocks or any of that. If my memory is serving, there were some specific patents that LN may have on the making of their current offerings. There could have also been a sales agreement with WC not to sell any Bedrock type planes.

    I have only read so much on this subject because the only thing that is of concern to me is if the plane will work out of the box and if the seller will stand behind what they sell/make. If LN is willing to make sure their customer is happy, then I will have no hesitation to recommend their planes to people who ask me. It is the same for LV. We have two great North American makers of planes that are making distinctly different products. As far as I know, both companies make excellent products and one is not necessarily better than the other. Wow! Who wants to fight with such variety? I have bought from both of companies and have been very happy with what I have received. I have bought from WoodCraft in the past and may again. They do not seem to have the level of customer service in person that I have received from both LN & LV on-line or over the phone. To me, that says a lot when a person is looking you in the eye and lacks the warmth of a phone clerk or even an email.

    If I do not want to pay the LN or LV price, there is always my favorite old Stanley tools to hunt down and restore.

    jim
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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