The made in America shop challenge.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 11-29-2010 10:56 PM 7644 reads 0 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, to maybe try to calm some passions here, and to prove that it isn’t as easy as some are trying to make it out to be… Here’s the challenge…

You have $5,000.00 to spend.

You need to fully outfit a woodworking shop.

You are required to purchase only North American produced. tools, machines, bits blades, etc… Preferrably U.S.A., but Canadian and Mexican is acceptable. Your machines may NOT have ANY foreign made components, even down to screws and nuts, it must ALL be North American Produced.

You must replace the following functions.

10” belt driven table was equipped with BOTH a riving knife, AND a sliding miter table. (The Taiwan made by TTI Sears Craftsman 21829 sells on sale for $329.00)
12×36 wood lathe. (The Taiwan made Central Machinery #34706 sells for $249.00 on sale -20%, so effectively $199.20)
basic set of turning tools, roughing gouges, bowl gouges, skews etc… (Penn State Benjamin’s Best 8 piece HSS set $69.95, made in Tawian).
Chuck for the lathe. (Penn State Utility Grip kit with extra jaws etc… $89.95 made in Taiwan).
Band saw with at least 1 HP, and resaw capacity of at least 12”. (Grizzly G0513P $698.00 made in Taiwan)
6” floor model straight knife jointer (Central Machinery #30289 on sale typically once a quarter for $249.00 – 20% coupon for $199.20 Made in Taiwan).
13” lunch box type planer. (Ryobi AP1301 $229.00 Made in Taiwan).
A dozen each F type bar clamps in 6”, 12”, 24” and 36” complete with clamp pads for each clamp. (Pittsburgh $1.99, $2.99, $4.99 and $5.99 respectively, all made in Taiwan).
2 2.25 HP fixed and plunge base router kits with 1/4” and 1/2” collets and variable speed.(Hitachi KM12VC $120.00, on Amazon, at least that is what I paid, price varies… Now for the shocker, According to my owners manual, made in USA, I understand they also have a production plant in Mexico.)
2HP Dust collector with 1 micron canister filter. (Central Machinery #97869 $139.00, fitted with Wynn 35A $175.00. DC itself Made in Taiwan, Wynn Filter made in USA).
Ambient air filter with secondary filtration of at least 1 micron, and a minimum of 1K CFM, remote control, and timer functions. (Grizzly G0572 $219.00 on sale, made in Taiwan).
Oscillating spindle sander (Ridgid EB4424 $199.00 Made in Taiwan)
Edge belt sander (Ridgid EB4424 $199.00 Made in Taiwan)
8” Bench Grinder (Ryobi BGH827 $54.99 made in Taiwan).
12” sliding compound Miter Saw. (Chicago Electric #98194 $109.00 after coupon)

(Without counting in the clamps I listed above, I have $3070.29 in that list… So in order to get in the same neighborhood of completion in a shop, you have nearly $2,000.00 additional to do it. Can you pull it off with new equipment?

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31 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


31393 posts in 2892 days

#1 posted 11-29-2010 11:08 PM

There is no way that we can have the shops that we have if we buy all American made items.

Unfortunately, however, after our economy is partially destroyed, partly by free trade, a great many people will not be able to afford to own the shops that we have either.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#2 posted 11-29-2010 11:19 PM

Unfortunately a good chunk of the economy has already been destroyed…

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View Alan's profile


443 posts in 3430 days

#3 posted 11-29-2010 11:25 PM

Is there any 12” sliding compond miter saws made in N. America?

-- Alan, Prince George

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#4 posted 11-29-2010 11:32 PM

I believe the Hitachi C12LSH is U.S.A produced.

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View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3066 days

#5 posted 11-29-2010 11:41 PM

I Don’t believe it is possible. Considering nuts/bolts/switches/plastic wire connectors & all

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#6 posted 11-29-2010 11:47 PM

My point exactly…

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View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2961 days

#7 posted 11-30-2010 12:37 AM

Mission impossible, I think.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3013 days

#8 posted 11-30-2010 12:55 AM

Does it have to be new? I think with time and craigslist you could get most of this in good old american iron.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#9 posted 11-30-2010 01:07 AM

No, but it must be something that can be completed in a reasonable time frame. Say 3 months. Actually given the Craigslist thing, and 3 months, I could hack the cost of imports WAY down…

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View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

1073 posts in 3199 days

#10 posted 11-30-2010 02:40 AM

might have been able to do it 20 years ago, but not today. Even “made in USA” companies probably use the nuts and bolts or even lube from other countries. I don’t see it being done, even off craigslist or ebay.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3754 days

#11 posted 11-30-2010 05:08 AM

Is buying used allowed? That keeps all $ in the US and the parts would have been US made if you were to go back 50 yrs. Used tools is my new approach for any major purchases going forward, mostly because I’m tired of junk.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#12 posted 11-30-2010 05:12 AM

Yeah buying used is allowed. But again, you have to be able to put the shop together in a reasonable time frame, AND the Table Saw MUST have BOTH a riving knife, AND a sliding miter table. I don’t think there has ever been a U.S. built saw with both of those features… Of course you can retrofit, so be specific how you would pull it off. Remember, NO NON NORTH AMERICAN CONTENT AT ALL. No wire, no nuts, no bolts, no clips, no lubricants… All North American products to do this task… And yes I know it is hard. I want to know if folks think it is possible… I highly doubt it…

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View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3086 days

#13 posted 11-30-2010 08:23 AM

You can buy A disc grinder for $6,000 , and It’s MADE IN USA!!!!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3190 days

#14 posted 11-30-2010 06:21 PM

Gad zooks, I am in the market for a larger disc sander, but not $6000 worth. Of course that thing is industrial quality, looking it over.

I have some made in USA stuff, and the newest thing I have, and I am not sure it is all USA made, is my Vega fence. In the old category, my radial arm saw, Delta contractor’s saw, Skil hammer drill, Skil circular saw, Skil belt sander, Skil jig saw(not entirely sure)........but not much else. I am not 100% sure that the contractor’s saw, vintage 1990, is all American. The radial arm saw, vintage 1970, most certainly is. All these tools were purchased new.

Interesting, I noted Skil was, and perhaps still is, owned by Emerson, who also made my RAS, although it is branded Sears. In its hay day, Emerson made some very good stuff…..........

All those mentioned Skil portable power tools are over 20 years old, and not slated for replacement, probably ever.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3699 days

#15 posted 11-30-2010 06:41 PM

My Unisaw is made in the USA, I will also be buying a Dewalt radial arm saw that’s made in the USA.

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