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Thread: Woodcraft and LN

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    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
    When you purchase an old Stanley Bedrock plane there's no one to stand behind it - you're on your own. And the price you'll pay can easily be the same as the WoodRiver planes.

    I haven't used a WoodRiver plane but I did examine them at my local Woodcraft store and they appear to be good planes, certainly as good of a plane as a Bedrock received in the mail from an eBay auction.

    I have no clue about how well Woodcraft stands behind them, but at least you have a chance to get a problem fixed, compared to purchasing an old Bedrock.

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

  2. #17
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    I went to my local woodcraft a few weeks ago to buy something small. Anyways, when you walk in the door, the LN cabinet is right there- the first thing you see-it was full. At the checkout I asked for a new catalog. When I got home ( my wife has a problem with me reading it while I'm driving-strange girl) I flipped pages and LN was nowhere to be found. I thought that was odd 'till I read this post.
    Michael Gibbons

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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    When you purchase an old Stanley Bedrock plane there's no one to stand behind it - you're on your own. And the price you'll pay can easily be the same as the WoodRiver planes.

    I haven't used a WoodRiver plane but I did examine them at my local Woodcraft store and they appear to be good planes, certainly as good of a plane as a Bedrock received in the mail from an eBay auction.

    I have no clue about how well Woodcraft stands behind them, but at least you have a chance to get a problem fixed, compared to purchasing an old Bedrock.

    Mike
    I have owned two Bedrocks and sold them both. They are a good plane, but only slightly better than a Bailey. I can usually find old Baileys at a fair price and fix them up. It is a lot more work than buying new, but I have the time and not the money. The biggest problem is always having to find the odd spare parts if you want to keep working on them. Otherwise, just stop when you get all you want.

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

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    I have owned two Bedrocks and sold them both. They are a good plane, but only slightly better than a Bailey. I can usually find old Baileys at a fair price and fix them up. It is a lot more work than buying new, but I have the time and not the money. The biggest problem is always having to find the odd spare parts if you want to keep working on them. Otherwise, just stop when you get all you want.

    jim
    I was comparing to a Stanley Bedrock because that's the design base for both the LN and the WoodRiver. So I felt it was a reasonable way to compare the planes (apples to apples).

    A Stanley Bailey would be much less expensive than either the LN or the WoodRiver.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 02-03-2010 at 1:09 AM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    A Stanley Bailey would be much less expensive than either the LN or the WoodRiver.

    Mike
    And as a contrarian, I will gladly reach for the value others are leaving behind.

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

  6. #21
    As you know*, Jim, I only recently purchased my first couple of Bedrock planes. I find them to be excellent planes. But I sometimes wonder if experience and knowledge don't play a part.

    When I was first starting out in woodworking it was inconceivable to me to pay the amount that a Bedrock would cost (let alone an LN) - so I started with Stanley Baileys. Of course, I didn't know how to tune them or even how to sharpen the blade well - and I didn't really know how to use them.

    As I learned more, I bought some Keen Kutter Kx planes and some Vaughan and Bushnell 900 series planes and tuned them up. They seemed to perform better than my Stanley Baileys but maybe some of it was that I had learned a bit more about how to tune, sharpen and use the planes.

    By the time I got to the Bedrocks, I knew how to set up and handle a plane. So the Bedrocks worked very well for me.

    I wonder if other people had the same experience.

    Mike

    [*Jim knows about my Bedrock purchases because he sold me some spare parts for one of them. Thanks, Jim.]
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #22
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    I don't know about LN thinking they have the only rights to the Bedrock square top style as some have alluded to, and I would love to see a link to where that info came from. To me it makes perfect sense though, as the only current maker of this style of plane being sold through the nations largest brick and mortar woodworking franchise, to find out that they are introducing a mid-level line that looks, oh my gosh, just like the line that we have been the only produces of for what, 80-90 years....and would likely be marketed as 'just as good' as the more expensive LNs to unknowing buyers....yeah, I would see this as a slight, so I'm not at all surprised at LN pulling back from most WCs.
    That which does not kill you will likely raise your insurance premiums.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Tringo View Post
    I don't know about LN thinking they have the only rights to the Bedrock square top style as some have alluded to, and I would love to see a link to where that info came from. To me it makes perfect sense though, as the only current maker of this style of plane being sold through the nations largest brick and mortar woodworking franchise, to find out that they are introducing a mid-level line that looks, oh my gosh, just like the line that we have been the only produces of for what, 80-90 years....and would likely be marketed as 'just as good' as the more expensive LNs to unknowing buyers....yeah, I would see this as a slight, so I'm not at all surprised at LN pulling back from most WCs.
    The ultimate problem is that Quangsheng's (aka WoodRiver) Bedrock clone appears to be a pretty decent plane at substantially less cost. I'm an L-N fan, but there's nothing wrong with them having to work a little harder for my woodworking dollar.

    You can read reviews here:

    http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/hand-tools-f11.html

    It beggars belief that L-N would not be upset about a competing line being introduced at Wood Craft.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Tringo View Post
    I don't know about LN thinking they have the only rights to the Bedrock square top style as some have alluded to, and I would love to see a link to where that info came from. To me it makes perfect sense though, as the only current maker of this style of plane being sold through the nations largest brick and mortar woodworking franchise, to find out that they are introducing a mid-level line that looks, oh my gosh, just like the line that we have been the only produces of for what, 80-90 years....and would likely be marketed as 'just as good' as the more expensive LNs to unknowing buyers....yeah, I would see this as a slight, so I'm not at all surprised at LN pulling back from most WCs.
    I really doubt if LN took the action they did because of Woodcraft's introduction of the WoodRiver planes. My local Woodcraft (Stanton, CA) is apparently going to continue to sell the LN planes. According to the owner, LN has certain requirements for any retail outlet that sells their planes, including having a place where customers can try out the planes (maybe a bench with some wood and a selection of the planes).

    One possibility is that LN felt that retailers who only stocked the planes didn't provide much value add - if you couldn't try the plane, the only value the store added was immediate possession compared to buying it directly from LN.

    I would not be surprised to see LN begin doing their "demonstration events" more often in major markets as a way to drive more direct sales (direct from LN).

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

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Stanford View Post
    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.
    I don't know if it went down exactly like that, but it definitely smells fishy.
    -Dan

  11. #26
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    I think L-N's explanation is plausible and I believe that the reasons they give certainly played a large role in their decision. However, I also think there is a chance that L-N is being diplomatic about it, but that there was a deterioration of the relationship at some point as well. I don't doubt that the Woodriver planes played a role. Not because L-N think they have exclusive rights to the old Stanley designs, but because WC clearly has a financial interest to push their house brand to customers considering buying an L-N plane. Another reason I think the relationship soured at some point is that when WC had their 20% off L-N products plus free shipping sale back in the Autumn, which was greatly discussed on this board, I called up L-N to see if they'd match the deal. I had a $200 L-N gift certificate so I had to buy direct. I was saving for a #7 so we were talking about real dollars (at least to me). Of course as expected, being the terrific company it is, L-N immediately agreed to give me the discount and free shipping so that I could use my gift certificate. But what surprised me is that the L-N representative I talked to was genuinely shocked by the WC sale on their items and said my phone call was the first they had heard of it. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if WC had breached a contractual agreement by running the sale. In any case, for WC to have such a big sale and not give L-N at least a courtesy heads up surprised me. I wasn't shocked when I saw shortly after that they were parting ways.
    Last edited by Dan Sink; 02-03-2010 at 4:10 PM.

  12. The local WC here in Downingtown,PA has a fair selection of LN planes. The one worker teaches planeing classes. His advise is to go with the LN planes,if you plan on using planes quite often. He felt the Woodriver planes are decent planes after tuning, but he would wait and spend the extra on the LN plane.
    Of course my thinking is like Jim Koepke,all of my planes are Baileys,that I have picked up at local flea markets and yard sales. It is not hard to find one for $25-$35. I have less than a $100 in any of the ones I have,including a couple that I put new hock blades in. I have a nice 4 1/2 that I put a Hock Blade and chip breaker in. I have a 125.00 in it.

  13. #28
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    I wonder how much of this was driven by the Woodriver offerings and how much was driven by the "presentation" of planes in a store.

    I have been in various retailers that carried a product, but often it was displayed in a way to drive customers away from that product to help promote another product.

    Many people have jobs that are nothing more than to go to a retail outlet to see how a customer or a product is handled. They are professional shoppers.

    Sometimes these folks work for independent agencies. Sometimes they work for the corporations or retail companies. If Woodcraft did not present LN products to LN's liking, that may have been a good reason for removing them for chain control and hand them over to individual store control. It seems Thom Lie-Nielsen likes to have people handle his

    Though, all we can really do is speculate. My knowledge is limited to what I have read or heard.

    Beyond satisfying our curiosity it really does not matter about the why. The reality is what is.

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

  14. #29
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    Sandy,
    Your link opens to a page that looks to have a lot of threads and I can not find the reviews.

    Your comment about the quality versus cost issue is an interesting situation. I know a person who would feel the solution would be for LN to cut wages to the point of matching the wages paid in the factories making the WoodRiver planes. I hope that does not happen.

    I have noticed that Clifton planes on one site are almost equal in cost to the LN planes. Do the Clifton planes match the quality. I am not sure how things are today, but my memory recalls some reviews that said the WoodRiver offerings were no where near the quality of a rusty old Stanley.

    I am sure these things can change quickly.

    jim


    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Stanford View Post
    The ultimate problem is that Quangsheng's (aka WoodRiver) Bedrock clone appears to be a pretty decent plane at substantially less cost. I'm an L-N fan, but there's nothing wrong with them having to work a little harder for my woodworking dollar.

    You can read reviews here:

    http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/hand-tools-f11.html

    It beggars belief that L-N would not be upset about a competing line being introduced at Wood Craft.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Sink View Post
    I think L-N's explanation is plausible and I believe that the reasons they give certainly played a large role in their decision. However, I also think there is a chance that L-N is being diplomatic about it, but that there was a deterioration of the relationship at some point as well. I don't doubt that the Woodriver planes played a role. Not because L-N think they have exclusive rights to the old Stanley designs, but because WC clearly has a financial interest to push their house brand to customers considering buying an L-N plane. Another reason I think the relationship soured at some point is that when WC had their 20% off L-N products plus free shipping sale back in the Autumn, which was greatly discussed on this board, I called up L-N to see if they'd match the deal. I had a $200 L-N gift certificate so I had to buy direct. I was saving for a #7 so we were talking about real dollars (at least to me). Of course as expected, being the terrific company it is, L-N immediately agreed to give me the discount and free shipping so that I could use my gift certificate. But what surprised me is that the L-N representative I talked to was genuinely shocked by the WC sale on their items and said my phone call was the first they had heard of it. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if WC had breached a contractual agreement by running the sale. In any case, for WC to have such a big sale and not give L-N at least a courtesy heads up surprised me. I wasn't shocked when I saw shortly after that they were parting ways.

    I would tend to agree. The "ongoing litigation - no comment" by both sides speaks the loudest as to the real driver.

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