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Wood Craft Store

by Raymond
posted 03-21-2011 07:36 PM

40 replies so far

View TheOldTimer's profile


226 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 03-21-2011 08:01 PM

Hi Raymond:
I have to agree with you on the prices being high. My main complaint with my local Woodcraft here in Chandler AZ. is the fact that they are always out of stock on certain items. I was there last week for a spacific item and was told that it was out of stock and they could order it for me if I wanted. Well, if I wanted to order it I would do so via the internet. I never drive there without calling first to see if it is in stock. I guess they do not keep current on the cost of gasoline. I really try to avoid them as much as possible.

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2937 days

#2 posted 03-21-2011 08:12 PM

Ditto on the oldtimer. My WC does the same thing and explains that it it to save them shipping charges (they only order when they can get a FULL truck and discount shipping). If I ordered online, I have NO 40 mile round trip and have it in less than a week. Twice I waited over a month and had to finally cancel the in-store purchase because I could wait no longer (ended up buying something in-stock). Now I look at things in WC and order from non-WC companies out-of-state and save BOTH on sale tax and shipping (if I time it right).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2904 days

#3 posted 03-21-2011 08:12 PM

Ray you may be correct but in reality anytime you go to a store as opposed to buying online its going to be more expensive.

I have ordered stuff from Woodcraft online because it was cheaper then going into the store, however there are times I want to walk in and see the item, ask the staff a question and not wait for the shipping.

There are a lot of items there that I feel are fare priced then there are others that I feel are too expensive. The Woodcraft here also has items on clearance and I have found some nice items for cheap.

It also depends on what you are looking for. I really like having a local woodcraft store especially for the tools that I cant get at any other local store.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2957 days

#4 posted 03-21-2011 08:15 PM

Times have been tough on many woodworking oriented retailers so they don’t stock as much any more.

I have experienced the same “no stock” many times over.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View PCTNWV's profile


99 posts in 2827 days

#5 posted 03-21-2011 08:25 PM

It really depends on the item. I find in some cases they are are more expensive and in some cases similar to others.

While I do order a lot of stuff online I try to spend a fair amount of my money at the local WC store. I am paying a little more but I don’t have to wait (or pay the extra express shipping fees or overweight fees for heavy items), they stock lumber / turning stock (better than buying at the big box stores, and they carry unique stock), they have educated staff that are more than willing to answer questions (most are woodworkers themselves and they offer a lot of hands on courses as well as they support the local woodworking / turning groups), I prefer to see some items before I purchase them (which they are always willing to show) and they do offer a frequent number of sales and specials (which provide a even greater than online discount in some cases).

As for stock, I would not anticipate any small business carrying everything that was in the catalog as the cost would be high. I have found that the local WC stocks up on most sale items prior to those sales to ensure they have stock on hand and they are always willing to order it if necessary as no extra charge. When they do order things it may take a little bit but they have always been open and up front on any lengthy delays (I have even had them recommend I order from their online sight if the delays were going to be extreme).

I realize some areas are lucky enough to have multiple places that provide these types of services but for those of us who are not so lucky my local WC store fill a large void. I realize that my willingness to spend a few extra dollars for these services may be shared by all or any but that is just me. I do not feel I am getting gouged nor being treated unfairly.

I have always found them to be open and upfront in all my dealings with them..

Just my 2 cents worth….

-- Troy, Virginia

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#6 posted 03-21-2011 08:36 PM

I have so little resources in the area that I’d pay top dollar at Woodcraft. I have poor delay of gratification and hate ordering online, although I’m forced to now. I find that there’s always some little trinket in their aisles that will catch my eye & I can’t leave without it. However, I’d never buy a 20” Powermatic planer from them. I guess you could take this as a very mild defense of Woodcraft prices :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3751 days

#7 posted 03-21-2011 08:39 PM

Well I am glad its not just me. I liked the store, I just can not justify paying for items I can get at Homedepot or Menards or Harbor Freight for that matter at a fraction of the price. I was looking at brass set up blocks. 17.99 at Wood Craft. They had a good selection of exotic woods. Again more than I was willing to spend. I guess what gets me is my wife was with me and she was going to purchase a few things for me. Clamps, those set up blocks and a couple of other items maybe a few pieces of wood.. If I han’t been there she would have really gotten taken advantage of. I don’t mind people making a living. They just really should not take advantage of people. We ended up at Harbor Freight for clamps and other assorted goodies. And at Menards I was able to get 12” long pieces of solid brass stock in 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 for less than 17.99 and I just cut them to the lengths I needed. And a couple pieces of Mahagony and Oak. Ended up spending much less and left us enough for dinner at the Golden Coral.

-- Ray

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#8 posted 03-21-2011 08:47 PM

For me it’s Lowe’s, Home Depot, or online. I’m struggling here in the woods of WV :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3789 days

#9 posted 03-21-2011 08:52 PM

I like to go into Woodcraft to look around. That’s usually it though, unless I pick up a bottle of glue or something like that. I always wait for the free shipping promo and order through their web site.
- JJ

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2904 days

#10 posted 03-21-2011 08:52 PM

Ray, I agree that Woodcraft is really expensive when it comes to the exotic lumber. I would never buy that lumber for that price. I usually get my exotic lumber off ebay for a fraction of what they charge.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#11 posted 03-21-2011 08:59 PM

Do tell, Dan! I’ve never searched for lumber on Ebay (because I’m distracted by planes, probably). How does that usually work out with shipping and have you been happy?

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View 2bigfeet's profile


65 posts in 2703 days

#12 posted 03-21-2011 09:06 PM

My local WC pretty much stocks everything. I make a shopping list from the catalog and for the most part its usually always in stock when I get there. Once in a while I have to order it. More often than not its out of stock online but I’ll find it in the store. Like any place you shop there are always deals or better prices somewhere else. If an item is outrageously marked up I’ll wait and get it somewhere else. If its only a matter of a few dollars I don’t let it rent space in my head. I’m already there, don’t want to burn up gas going across town, or waste the time. They do have some really good sales and specials almost all the time which to me counters the few extra dollars they may charge compared to the box stores. :-)

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2716 days

#13 posted 03-21-2011 09:06 PM

Different Dan, but I’ve bought lumber on ebay. $$ are usually cheap, but you don’t usually get a deal on shipping.

I like walking into woodcraft because I tend to learn something every time I go in, but restrict my purchases to things that are on sale. I’ve gotten about 4 gift cards from there lately and end up buying things like.. router spacers, clamps, glue, router bits, finishes, etc. If you can wait for the sales, it usually pays off.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3751 days

#14 posted 03-21-2011 09:08 PM

I to have orderd wood on line and it worked out very well.

-- Ray

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3751 days

#15 posted 03-21-2011 09:21 PM

I do like the store and the staff are friendly. Just probably will not spend much there.

-- Ray

View WaywardHoosier's profile


80 posts in 4058 days

#16 posted 03-21-2011 09:24 PM

Yes, Woodcraft can be high priced especially for the high end power tools. But if you know what you are looking for they do have marked down prices and 10% or 15% sales on top of that.

I go to websites, make a wish list and print them out . In this way I compare exact prices and select the places that have the best prices. Sometimes Woodcraft is competitive.

I have been finding Rockler higher on average. There are so many places selling woodworking supplies….

-- WaywardHoosier - Behind schedule and over budget, but who's counting? Well of course she is!

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2904 days

#17 posted 03-21-2011 09:38 PM

Al, Just search ebay for Exotic Lumber and or Exotic wood. Depending on what you are looking for you will find a lot of good deals. Example… I bought a box of exotic wood cut offs a while back for like 15 dollars. They were maybe 12 different exotic wood pieces and they were all very small. However I like to build small boxes and such so they will work out great for me..

I don’t find the shipping to be that bad with some of the lumber dealers on ebay. I still think its a lot cheaper then getting from a company site or store.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3390 days

#18 posted 03-21-2011 09:38 PM

I think Woodcraft is probably a little higher than some other places. But at least in our local store, there are very knowledgeable people to help.

There is one young man, at least young to me,at our local Woodcraft that I run every tool purchase by and have never been disappointed in either his recommendation to buy or not buy a tool. That alone makes anything extra I pay worth it as a wrong decision on a major tool could cost either a fair amount of money or using a tool that is not as good for what I want it to do.

My 2cents worth.


View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#19 posted 03-21-2011 09:42 PM

I’d be happy just to have any kind of woodworking store within 50 miles of me.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View WaywardHoosier's profile


80 posts in 4058 days

#20 posted 03-21-2011 09:56 PM

That is the best part of the Internet. Lower prices and shipping. I started with Woodcraft when it was catalog only, never a sale, and costly shipping (they shipped from Parkersburg,WV). I bought only small items and once in agreat while. They have a lot more competition now.

-- WaywardHoosier - Behind schedule and over budget, but who's counting? Well of course she is!

View BalloonKiller's profile


4 posts in 2652 days

#21 posted 03-21-2011 10:11 PM

I used to go to a ham radio store that was in the same building as the local woodcraft store. Unfortunately the radio store is no longer around since people would come in to his store and fondle everything to find what they wanted and then go order it online. The woodcraft store just expanded and they’ve got a display cabinet that used to be in the radio store that says ‘icom’ on it, so every time I visit woodcraft now I’m reminded of the affect of the attitude ‘I can save 50c ordering this online.’ I’m not advocating paying substantially higher prices for the same product, but the ability to browse and look is worth something to me. I disagree that you can find anything at harbor freight that is worth what they charge for it, much less a greater value than a quality tool from woodcraft. You have to be knowledgeable of the value of what you want and what you’re getting, and it’s simplistic to say that cost is the only thing that matters. I don’t support the race to the bottom and I do value craftsmanship, which extends to the ability to serve customers well. I think as a woodworker you would have a very difficult time justifying the cost of what you make over the cost of a bookshelf from Ikea if money is the only consideration.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3206 days

#22 posted 03-21-2011 10:15 PM

I’ve had pretty good luck with Wood Craft. I usually wait until they have a good price on something I’m looking to buy. I bought my Jet drum sander and my Triton router from them and I paid the same price that was listed on their website and I didn’t have to pay shipping or taxes. I’ve found the same thing with Rockler also. The price of gas is definitely a factor and it’s a two way street, the retailers have had to raise prices to cover shipping costs. It’s not just Wood Craft or Rockler, have you noticed the packaging in your local grocery store has gotten smaller with less contents but the same or higher price. Welcome to HOPE & CHANGE!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3112 days

#23 posted 03-21-2011 10:20 PM

Woodcraft is a bit pricey, but I understand why, they have very little competition to keep them in check, but also they have a limited clientel, and do not sell in large volumes, so like any other business, if you sell fewer items, you have to make a larger profit on each one. Ordering online is cheaper because you pay shipping (usually) versus them paying for distribution, plus they dont have the overhead of maintaining several regional stores, they just have one large warehouse, with laborers packing instead of knowledgable people providing service.

—-Though it is not a policy, I have had the woodcraft stores match their online pricing. I bought the woodriver four jaw chuck for my lathe, online it was sold in a few kits with the different spindle adapters for different lathes, in store they dont want to stock different kits, so they sell the chuck and adapters seperately, but charge as much for just the chuck without the adapter, when I asked, they happily gave me the adapter free to make the price match.

—-THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CORPORATE STORE AND A FRANCHISE STORE! I have a corporate store near me, but I went to a franchise store near a friends house while visiting, and learned that lesson, before that I never knew that they franchise. The franchise stores have much more limited stock, higher prices on many items, and are much more reluctant to give you any price break. They are basically a small business with access to the name and the products woodcraft sells, they operate as a small business, with higher overhead costs, and their employees are truly looking out for the interrest of the small company just to keep it in business. I hate to turn people away from small businesses, but if you have the ability to go to a corporate store instead of a franchise, do it, you will find it to be a much nicer experience.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2678 days

#24 posted 03-21-2011 10:55 PM

Woodcraft is pricey. They cater to consumer oriented sales, not wholesale or business to business. They provide personnel who can answer simple questions about woodworking. My local WC knows me and whenever I go to the store, there are a few salespeople who will pick my brain and ask me questions or get advice they can give to a hobbyist. I don’t mind at all. I enjoy passing on some of the hard learned lessons I’ve got under my belt.

When going to wholesalers, they expect you to be educated and know what you want and won’t stand around and answer questions that a professional should already know the answer to. For example – 4/4, 5/4 rift, skip planed, hit & miss, flitch cut plywood or rotary cut plywood, rustic or select, etc. You need to already have done your research on hardware and have the specifications that the wholesaler can look up in their catalog and get the right part for you. Wholesalers are in the business of selling you materials, not educating you about woodworking. That is the big thing you are paying for at WC. The ability to have someone spend time with you educating you on basic woodworking, tools and such.

Cabinet hardware that WC sells I can get from my wholesaler at half the price, but I have to order by the box, not by the piece and have to know what I want before I call them. That is the convenience that WC offers. For example, when I purchase Blum drawer slides I have to purchase them in boxes of 6. I can’t buy a single pair for 1 drawer. Also, the wholesaler won’t educate me on how to properly install a piece of hardware – that’s up to me. It is pretty much the same across the board. You won’t find custom shops, that are in business to make money, going to them because of pricing. Non of the wholesalers in my area will sell to non professional shops.

On the other hand Rockler offers consumer and professional pricing. Granted, the professional pricing is still much higher then what I can get wholesale but it sure beats full retail. I’ve sent inquiries to Woodcraft asking if they could implement something like this and never heard from them. That tells me they are not interested. Oh well….

It’s just the nature of wholesale versus retail.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3784 days

#25 posted 03-21-2011 11:00 PM

Last Friday my son and I were in the Baltimore area and we visited the Towson Woodcraft Store. We have never seen the shelves so bare, or so few people in the store. One of the employees there said that in this economy business is slow.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2946 days

#26 posted 03-22-2011 12:01 AM

Woodcraft is usually more on a lot of things but there are times when they have exactly what I need. Their store is 35 miles one way for me(across Tampa traffic)so I limit those trips. This store has always been very friendly to me which is more than I can say for the one I used to (note I said used to) in Ohio. There was a woman in that store that followed me around every move I made. I would tell her I was looking and next thing she was right beside me again.(happened three times) I felt like telling her I could buy anything they had in that store and I didn’t steal. BTW I don’t look like a bum.She was paranoid.
End result was I would drive all the way to the other side of town (25+) and go to Wood Werks. Funny thing was the guys at WW told me they had heard that a lot and it was good for their business.
I liked the idea of cutting down the brass bars and I’m going to look into that. Good tip.

-- Life is good.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3746 days

#27 posted 03-22-2011 03:09 AM

Just come home from one this evening (Harrisburg, PA). Working on a drill press table and needed “T” track. It was on sale: 16: piece of aluminum T track for less than $8.00. Cost less than I expected.

Every time I walk into Woodcraft, I feel like a kid in Toys-R-Us. I walk around and look at every rack on shelf. Not really looking to buy, but just looking.

As it gets warmer, I plan to ride the bike to others in the area.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3184 days

#28 posted 03-22-2011 03:25 AM

Maybe a little of both. Consider Lie Nielson, and not to mention Bridge City. Would you pay $70 for Kerfmaker or build one for $2 or less? As for WC, they give you service whereas most online places (and the box stores too) don’t. Have you ever spoke to someone at HD or Lowes about designing a project with wood expansion in mind? Yeah, they are high on some things, but they do have some value you can’t get elsewhere. Would you agree? Actually, are they any different than a Rockler store?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3751 days

#29 posted 03-22-2011 05:01 AM

Interesting comments i did not know about the Corporate store verses a franchidise store. Good to know. The comment that was made “I disagree that you can find anything at harbor freight that is worth what they charge for it, much less a greater value than a quality tool from woodcraft.” I personally feel is inaccurate. I don’t want to get into a Harbor Freight discussion. Personally I think there are some great bargans there. Just have to be careful. The statements of everyone and very valid and have opened my eyes. I am going to give Wood Craft another look.

-- Ray

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2994 days

#30 posted 03-22-2011 05:31 AM

I have to drive 55 miles each way to get to my nearest Woodcraft store. And, there are no other wood working supply stores around here that are any closer; at least none that I have been able to find. I love this store anyway, and I would still go here even if I had other choices.

It’s true about the sales. I have been shopping here a little over a year and have come to realize every thing they sell will be on sale at a good price at some time. When their stuff is on sale it will be competitive with most anybody.

View knotscott's profile


8056 posts in 3399 days

#31 posted 03-22-2011 12:53 PM

I don’t think Woodcraft is any higher than other specialty woodworking chains, but they’re typically higher than the best sales prices you’ll find if you surf around. Fortunately they do offer occasional sales, free s/h, and have some items that grab my attention. All in all I’m glad we have one nearby.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3453 days

#32 posted 03-22-2011 02:34 PM

The Woodcraft store here is generally well stocked and typically priced. Yes, some things are more expensive than I want but that is the way it goes; especially during these hard times.

If I want something that is available in the Woodcraft store, I usually buy it. Mostly because I either want it NOW or because I want to touch and feel before I commit. I buy on line when I can get a really good deal (even after considering shipping) and I know exactly what I am buying.

Do remember, If you like having a Woodcraft store in your area – you won’t have it long unless you (and others) shop there. I’d like to have a Rockler store too but it is not in the cards – limited demand.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View bunkie's profile


412 posts in 3170 days

#33 posted 03-22-2011 03:19 PM

When you get a chance, take a look at the franchise offer that appears in the Woodcraft catalog. There’s a substantial franchise fee that comes right off the top of every sale and goes directly to the corporation. In addition, they estimate that you need about $500,000 in cash to open a franchise store. That’s an awful lot of money. Anyone making that sort of commitment needs to have both a substantial cash flow and profit margin in order to stay in business.

I’ve shopped a number of Woodcraft stores all over the eastern part of the US. The things I like about Woodcraft have all been mentioned (knowledgeable sales staff, the ability to examine merchandise, etc.). The prices, I feel, aren’t all that bad considering.

As with everything, it’s a tradeoff. I happen to like going to the annual Woodworking show. But, unfortunately, it coincides with my wife’s birthday and, being a smart husband, I do the right thing. Visits to Woodcraft make up for what I miss each year.

The funny thing is that I’ve never visited my “local” Woodcraft which is in Connecticut. It’s too far away from NYC where I live and it’s up I95, a road I avoid whenever possible.

Finally, those ordering via mail-order to avoid sales tax should enjoy it while they can. I predict that the individual states are going to try to get their hands on sales records so as to go after online purchases for the sales tax (which, in many states, you are required to pay with your income tax). Don’t be surprised if someday soon you get a bill for the tax, penalty and interest on that tablesaw you bought on-line.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3751 days

#34 posted 03-22-2011 03:27 PM

These are all great posts. This has generated some great discussion. I am sure going to give my Local Wood Craft another hard look.

-- Ray

View WaywardHoosier's profile


80 posts in 4058 days

#35 posted 03-25-2011 05:51 PM

I think Woodcraft has been trying harder to be competitive and have sales more often than in the past.

Woodcraft franchise: Looks like one for a MAJOR city market and one Rockler. No too sure two could make it.

I was a at our local Woodcraft and the salesman would not even recommend the Groz line of planers. The prices are very reasonble. I thought it was interesting how the woodworker came out of him first with his recommendations, the sale was second.

-- WaywardHoosier - Behind schedule and over budget, but who's counting? Well of course she is!

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#36 posted 03-25-2011 05:56 PM

I looked into a Woodcraft franchise & I can vouch for the upfront cash costs. It made me really appreciate the owners’ stake in the franchise. I’m nowhere near one now but if I were, I’d certainly give them my business.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View CANDL's profile


44 posts in 2831 days

#37 posted 03-25-2011 06:37 PM

Just have to chime in here …. first I am in Northern Cincinnati Ohio.

We have both a WC and a Rockler within .5 of a mile of one another, then another local store, Mueller’s ( , 5 miles from the other two).

Unfortunately/fortunately all three recognize me by name. The WC is in a new location, having recently taken over an Old Navy store, so they have a huge facility so the others are playing catch up. All I can say is competition is a wonderful thing.

I seldom pay full price for anything, 20% sales seem to be as common as the sunrise. As for shopping the catalog goes, one of the managers chewed me out for buying on line. He would match the online prices period. So given a choice I would rather support local people. The only thing no one would deal on was the sawstop purchase …. Though I did get them to take it to the basement…

And yes all three stores have local experts, and classes (some free and some for a fee).

I guess in conclusion, if you are passing through here might be worth checking them out…

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3751 days

#38 posted 03-28-2011 03:21 PM

I agree 100 % on supporting local business. I will give them a second and third look.

-- Ray

View WaywardHoosier's profile


80 posts in 4058 days

#39 posted 03-28-2011 09:46 PM

Intersting about matching the On-line prices. I will inquire with our local Woodcraft. Thanks for the tip

-- WaywardHoosier - Behind schedule and over budget, but who's counting? Well of course she is!

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2691 days

#40 posted 03-28-2011 10:27 PM

Most things are high price, some are Ok
Rockler is the same way
If I can find it on amazon, usually ,get much better price
If I cant wait ,I guess, I pay the price ,or I find it locally for good price
If you search every where on the web ,you can usually find, what you want, at a better price, with free shipping, if not ,wait ,and search some more

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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