Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 4
Woodworking tool manufacturing is
Now that Taiwanese woodworking tools are accepted by U.S. woodworkers, manufacturing is moving again. This time, to mainland China. What will this mean for American consumers?
If you're not in the habit of checking labels on your new tools and machinery purchases, you might be surprised to learn that "Made in China" is showing up a lot more frequently these days. Don't make the mistake and think this means the product was made in the Republic of Taiwan, the island country off the coast of mainland China.
With increasing frequency, products once made in Taiwan are now being manufactured in China. What can we expect from such a shift? Will quality suffer? What about prices? Just who is having woodworking equipment made in China now? And why would manufacturers make such a huge change just when their products have finally won broad acceptance with U.S. woodworkers?
Importers and manufacturers of Taiwan-made woodworking equipment have worked hard during the past 15 years for respect in the mar
ketplace. Whether the bad rap "Made in Taiwan" was deserved in the early days is not only debatable but, like most issues, a lot more complicated than consumers imagine.
From the first days that Taiwanese equipment began arriving in our ports, there were real quality differences among the various importers. Quality differences still exist and can vary on what may seem to be the same product coming from the same manufacturing plant. But it's fair to say now that overseas manufacturers are producing millions and millions of dollars in good-quality woodworking equipment. Some of it's made by companies that import their entire line from Taiwan; some of it's made for venerable names who once
by Steve Shanesy
Contact Steve at 513-531-2690 ext. 238 or SteveS@FWPubs.com.
built exclusively in the United States and now import some products. Either way, the American woodworker is reaping a huge benefit from these imported tools.
As woodworkers, we groan regularly at constant price increases for lumber. But when it comes to tools and equipment, particularly machines from Taiwan, we don't stop to think what a bargain they are. A case in point: I bought my first table saw, a Delta/Rockwell model 10 contractor saw, in 1981. I added long guide bars for the fence and casters and paid just over $850. What's that saw cost today? Equipped with a Biesemeyer fence, just over $850. Essentially, it's the same saw with a far superior fence.
Just for fun, I went to a web site that allows you to calculate the cost my table saw in 1981 and then adjust it for 20 years of inflation. Today, my $850 saw should cost $1,833.
10 Popular Woodworking October 2001