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Thread: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

  1. #1
    Registered User Keith Newell's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Hello all, I normally try to post upbeat posts but am a bit ticked off right now at Woodcraft.com and Rikon brand. I have used a 4x36" combo sander for 10 years made by craftsman, a few years ago it was getting well worn and I had to tear it apart to grease the BUSHINGS!? but hey it kept ticking and I would do that maintenance every few months. My local (25 miles away) Woodcraft store had a sale on the same size sander made by Rikon and it had a slight bit more horsepower so I bought it. A couple months later I retired the Craftsman and installed the Rikon and wow it worked nice untill I had about 8 minutes of use on it and it made a huge POP! sound and a mushroom cloud of smoke. I took it back to the Woodcraft.com store in Tigard Oregon and they told me any warrentee issues I had to call the manufacturer so I did. They were very nice and told me I could have my refund or they could replace it. They said they would email the store manager and let him know...........
    A week later I called the store because I had been pretty much dead in the water making stuff and they were quite rude and said they had not heard anything. I stewed on this a bit and early this morning I took a drive to Harbor Freight...I know, I know but hey I thought if it got me through a week or two I would be happy. I bought a 4x36 combo sander and guess what, it had bearings for the rollers, more HP and when I fired it up it was nice and smooth. Great story so far but...
    My daughter was going right by the 25 mile away Woodcraft.com store and I gave her the Rikon and all the paperwork along with the reciept that says "if you are not satisfied we will return your money within 90 days". Today is day 88. They were very rude to her and come to find out at the bottom of Woodcraft.com reciept it says they will not take back any power tools. They pointed out that the unit was well worn because of 3 scratches on the platen, hell buy a new one and turn it on and sand something for 5 minutes it will be more worn than the unit I returned. They then said they won't take it, so I got a phone call from my daughter, I explained some more the issue and gave them the name of the Rikon guy I talked too, but he never sent an email. I realize they may have store policies but after questioning the manager on particulars it's pretty much NOT the "if your not satisfied" clause but more of "if you didn't step off the curb and the package has not been opened".
    I have spent a ton of money at this woodworking store called Woodcraft.com and guess what at Harbor Freight they gave me a 2 yr no questions asked bring it back and we give you a new one, you don't need your receipt because the sale was tied to my phone number!
    I think it's like Kia years ago, they had cheap cars and everyone dissed them, then they started having great warrantees, won some rally races, won some other races, then got a better serve ecord than some big names and now they get a bit higher price than they used too and it's a better car.
    Sorry for the rant but be rude if you want repeat customers, don't make up stuff like how well worn a product is when you don't know what your talking about and try to keep in mind that not everybody wants a tool for a hobby that you can wait weeks before an issue is solved.
    Sorry again,
    Keith
    I borrowed this but it is still as powerful
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  2. #2
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Kia is definitely a nice car. Just bought the Kia Sorento.. niiiice.

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    Carpe Mandolinium
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Keith,

    It may be too late for this since you've already spoken with both the manufacturer and the retailer, but the buzz phrase "defective out-of-the-box" has been known to get results. (Though I don't know whether it might work with this particular maker and seller.)

    Good luck.


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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I first heard about Harbor Freight here on the cafe a few years back and when they built stores in my area I stopped in. The stuff isn't the cream of the crop but it's inexpensive and they do seem to stand behind it. I buy a lot of stuff there now that I formerly bought at stores like Woodcraft. Tigard is a haul from your place (I'm an expatriated Portland boy).

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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I may be tempted to e mail your post to the store and the company rep. and offer to retract and apologize if they make it right.
    I also have had some success in waiting till the store was a bit crowded then starting a fuss, almost to the point of them calling the cops. I wouldn't Quit though. you've made a good start ..... My opinion
    Jean

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    That single action would put this post in violation of the Posting Guidelines.

  7. #7
    Registered User Keith Newell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I'll take care of it, don't ban this post. I know a lot of builders ect. need to get their stuff from somewhere and I just want them to know that some places have a different stance on stuff. Me I run 300K machines for a living and even get to consult on more expensive stuff as a modelmaker. I realize that $139 is nothing compared to that but it's MY $139.... I buy a 100 DVD from Fry's fpr $16.99 and 10% don't work.....I'm all over it and I get a new stack. It just frosts me to deal with a company that has (sorry) retired "experts" and they treat you like crap and then give you the beat down. I think I have cut , sanded, stained, sealed, routed, gouged, drilled, glued, bound, carved, stained (did I say that but meaining sunburst), doweld , mortiseded, dovetailed, reamed, drilled, thickness sanded with drum sander, whiskered (look it up), inlayed and just no brainer crap then they have seen but yep I'm a newb wannabe in their eyes. Ok, I can sleep now. Thanks for reading and putting up with my rant.
    Keith
    I borrowed this but it is still as powerful
    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Woodcraft stores are a franchise arrangement with Woodcraft so your dealing with a store that is privately owned and managed, not company owned. Woodcraft corporate may have return policies that this store is possibly not following. I have dealt with Woodcraft for it must be about 40 years and have always been satisfied --but then I haven't really had to return anything. They have stuff for woodworkers that can be difficult to find anywhere else and that is why I have dealt with them all this time. I do feel that what they are now is quite different than what they were when they started and not necessarily to the good.
    I have run into that problem (your problem) with other dealers, like Sears. You bought it at a store, you handed YOUR money to THEM but when you have a problem they tell you to take it up with someone else. That never really set right with me. It may be the manufacturer that is ultimately responsible but the store should at least facilitate for you since they sold it.
    Harbor Freight is the bomb! The stuff isn't that bad, I mean, it does what you expect of it and they're getting better and better at making things in China and the prices are really cheap, cheap like you can maybe buy three of something in case you have trouble with it and still not have spent what you would have paid for a tool of that type by someone else. I bought a pneumatic nail gun at Harbor Freight for $24 ---$24!!! The first nail gun I ever bought years ago cost me $400!
    The thing is, the tool you bought from Woodcraft was very likely manufactured in China as well, the only difference is you paid premium prices at Woodcraft.

  9. #9
    Registered User Lefty Luthier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Woodcraft retail stores may be privately owned but most seem to be owned by the same sort of individual, uninterested in standing behind their products. I recently purchased a 3 x 3 x 12 billet of ebony at the San Antonio Woodcraft store for $29 when I noticed an on-line ad at THIS very low price. Since I could cut 12 mandolin fret boards from a billet this size, it seemed a good bargain compared to most luthier supply houses. Bad decision, the billet was covered with a heavy layer of opaque black wax, hiding the actual wood. When I began cutting out the fretboards, I found that the wood to be badly split, full of knots, etc. Took it back for a refund, which resulted in a very nasty exchange with the owner. After making sufficient noise to scare 4 customers out of the store, we finally settled on a full credit but no cash. Needless to say, no more wood purchases from those creeps.
    Byron Spain, Builder
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    Registered User 8ch(pl)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I wonder what 3 scratches on the platten have to do with the motor of the unit being burned out.

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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences - very helpful to us other guys.
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    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I use Woodcraft pretty regular. The stores in the DFW area, and more recently San Antonio, have never been a problem to deal with. Their pricing is mixed as to if it's a bargin or high priced. You just have to be an informed buyer. Most of their wood is decent, except ebony can be good or poor quality. As a former retail manager I know a good many products are purchased by the company distribution centers that the store receives a decent cost for some items, but does not have return privilages. That might explain the reluctance to accept a return on some defective products. Not every owner values his customer above his nickel and dime bottom line mentality.

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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I've used Woodcraft for over twenty years with great success. First it was the store in Louisville, then the one in Franklin, TN. Either store is a good drive from where I live, but no place else carries the items they do in the quality one needs. Pricing is ok, but not usually the best. I most often find what I need and that is a great thing. Wood selection can be quite variable. Sometimes you can get the perfect piece, others nothing you would want. However, I have bought several expensive power tools over the years and have had no problems with them. I have never taken anything back but every store has its policies concerning returns and I don't judge the quality of the store by the store's policies. Many power tools are expected to be returned to a service center for the brand and not the retail store it was purchased from. It may be frustrating, but that is often the case. The same applies to most electronics that you buy as well. It has to be returned to a service center. Some retailers may help in this, but they are not required to and some will not.
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I'm trying to figure out why they always put them 25 miles from home.

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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Joe View Post
    I have never taken anything back but every store has its policies concerning returns and I don't judge the quality of the store by the store's policies.
    If a store won't accept a return (ie stand behind its product) then I would definitely judge the store based on that and refuse to do business there.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

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    Registered User Keith Newell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I can't remove this post but I wanted to say that everything was taken care of and Woodcraft will get all of my future business for the nice way in which they handled it. I appreciated the way we could have an adult talk and get it resolved. Their products are really the top brands and it would be silly to judge them over a misunderstanding.
    Keith
    I borrowed this but it is still as powerful
    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    total 180 degree turn of opinion ? - sounds like they put you through lots of trouble for a simple matter, regardless of whether they fixed this issue or not - they would not get any of my future business. They should have trained their employees to deal with the issue properly than have an irate customer.
    I had a similar issue with Woodcraft or one of their franchise stores - they would not honor a return on a band saw blade they recommended to me since I had tried it out already. they assured me my saw would handle it and it did not. I didn't even get store credit - Harbor Frieght and mail order online (Rockler, Highland, PeachTree) is better to deal with.

  19. #18
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Newell View Post
    I can't remove this post but I wanted to say that everything was taken care of and Woodcraft will get all of my future business for the nice way in which they handled it. I appreciated the way we could have an adult talk and get it resolved. Their products are really the top brands and it would be silly to judge them over a misunderstanding.
    Keith
    Yeah, John and I had the same thought: what caused the 180 degree change in your opinion? Since many of us have the option of Woodcraft, I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to know if it really took them 6 months to address a pretty clear issue. 'Cause if so, I'm with John in avoiding them (though not necessarily in his choice of stores).

  20. #19
    Registered User bryce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Two words; Woodworker's Supply! Never been disapointed.
    David Houchens
    bryceinstruments.com

  21. #20
    Registered User Clicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    (It seems to me that you should have at least looked at the Craftsman again...) -Harry
    Last edited by Clicker; Oct-04-2012 at 9:40am.

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    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    As one who is progressively purchasing tools for woodworking this has been a very interesting and informative read.
    Thank you very much for the OP and follow up responses. They will help me to make an informed decision when purchasing tools.
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08

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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I'm glad to see it resolved and Keith happy. I've always had great dealings with Woodcraft. The main reason many of us do not use Craftsman tools anymore is that they are usually no better...or as good as Harbor Freight. They may work well for occasional use or amateurs, but are not commercial quality or all that well ergonomically for sustained use. Just like mandolins, some are great for hobbyists, others for pros. Each has a place and a price point.
    Have a Great Day!
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Keith, as a looooong time woodworker, two phrases I hate to hear anyone say is: I bought x from woodcraft, or I bought x from Harbor Freight.

    Go to Home Depot, Lowes or Sears(if you must) and buy your tools. If something happens you are more likely to get service. Woodcraft has been through hands over the years and have been on verge of BK a couple times. They are hell to deal with.

    I hate the hassle of buying tools on-line but if you know what you want and buy quality tools then there are several on-line store that will work better than the two you mentioned.

    Good luck.

  25. #24
    Registered User Lefty Luthier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    Perhaps part of the issue is Rikon tools. This is not the first time I have heard very negative comments about them. The only machine tool that I have ever bought from Woodcraft is a Jet brand industrial vacuum and it is bullet proof. I only dealt with Woodcraft because they were the only source in San Antonio for Jet.
    Byron Spain, Builder
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  26. #25
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    Default Re: Local Woodworking supply and brand issue.

    I tend to buy heavy duty vintage power tools, with cast components. My drill press is antique Craftsman and seems invisible. Nothing like it in Sears today! I look for tools that allow me to lubricate and ideally replace bearings and brushes without excessive labor. I've bought a few things from Woodcraft, but no power tools. I've got some harbor freight type stuff that lasted a while with care. I fell for one small bandsaw of modern manufacture that I simply wore out. I fixed what I could, which was most, and gave it away!

    The only modern Craftsman thing I have is a small combination sander that, after 10 years, is making complaining noises. I'll have to tear it down, see if whatever is yelling can be replaced!
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