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Farewell Woodcraft Chattanooga

by Tennwood
posted 629 days ago


39 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3243 posts in 1471 days


#1 posted 629 days ago

Yes, sadly another example of “It Worked”, “the private sector is doing fine”.
Must be because “they didn’t build that.”

I personally can feel their pain. I lost my job of 30 years thanks to the idiot policies of “The Won”.

-- Michael :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

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Handtooler

1009 posts in 632 days


#2 posted 629 days ago

Amen to both prior comments. I’ve purchased many items there and all were supported with great advise and suggestions from really great woodworkers. Living in Soddy daisy and not driving I’m rarely able to shop at will, but those guys always were ready to hold an item for me till I could get over across town. So sorry for their closing. My wife also regets their demise as she also shopped for her own tools. Russell Pitner

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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helluvawreck

14580 posts in 1366 days


#3 posted 629 days ago

This bothers me. I’ve talked to my brother about us investing in a Woodcraft store in our area. We’re already in the molding business and even though they would be separate businesses we have always thought that they could enhance each other. It’s hard to make any plans when you’re in a situation like this economy where you don’t really know what the government is going to do next or what your expenses will be. We’re not even buying new machinery anymore. We used to replace our equipment whenever the maintenance cost got to be a little above the monthly cost of new machinery. This is how we used to keep our equipment modern and up to date, but not any more. This country is really going downhill.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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helluvawreck

14580 posts in 1366 days


#4 posted 629 days ago

I have always loved Woodcraft ever since I can remember. I’ve been a Woodcraft customer for 40 years. Shortly after my wife and I were married in 1971 I bought my first set of hand tools from Woodcraft for $1000. I must have spent 40 hours thinking about which tools I would buy so I didn’t take the purchase lightly. Back then $1000 was a lot of money and could buy a whole lot more than it can today. You could buy a Ford Granada for $5000, for example. We ended up buying a new Kharman Ghia for $2700. We drove that Kharman Ghia for 5 years and we sold it for $2500 so it turned out to be a good investment. I wish that I still had that car. I already had some tools that I had scraped up during High School so I was adding to what I already had. It was my first big woodworking investment. Every catalog I got I would look at it for hours. In fact, every other woodworking catalog that I got I would look at for hours.

In Atlanta, Woodcraft’s biggest competitor is Highland Hardware. I think I’ve been doing business with them for at least 30 years – maybe close to 40 – I can’t remember when they started. They are both a retail outfit and an internet and catalog business. I tried to get down to both stores at least once every three months but that really proved to be difficult even though they are both only 35 or 45 miles from my home. Invariably, that is going to add up to a 3 to 6 hour trip since you are going to want to browse in the stores and then you have to encounter rush hour traffic which is never pleasant. If you go on the weekend then traffic is not so bad but then I’m cutting into my woodworking time which is usually the weekend.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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ajosephg

1826 posts in 2061 days


#5 posted 629 days ago

It’s a tough business. Many (most??) customers come and look then go home an order it off the web.

-- Joe

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Handtooler

1009 posts in 632 days


#6 posted 629 days ago

Joe were you the franchise owner? Your staff of Chris, Randy Colby et. al are OUTSTANDING people.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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derosa

1472 posts in 1335 days


#7 posted 629 days ago

I hope the one local to me stays open, there is nothing closer except Lowes and HD and I’ve stopped shopping there except for 2×4s and cheap ply. Only place I buy tools is craigslist or woodcraft and always woodcraft if I can afford new because they’re always helpful in making recommendations.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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ajosephg

1826 posts in 2061 days


#8 posted 629 days ago

Handtooler

No, I have no connection with that Woodcraft, or any other. (I’ve been retired for 4+ years.)

I was just making a general statement about that and similar brick and mortar retail businesses. That is the reason you hardly ever see things like computers, cameras, etc. in small stores.

PS
The nearest Woodcraft store from where I live is over a hundred miles, and the nearest Rockler is further so my only option is web based buying. Like Rev. Russ, I only buy generic hardware and dimensional lumber from the big box stores.

-- Joe

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MisterBill

330 posts in 751 days


#9 posted 628 days ago

The Woodcraft in Fort Lauderdale closed over a year ago due to the same reason and it is a 3 hour drive to the closest. I feel your loss and pain!

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Bertha

12942 posts in 1193 days


#10 posted 628 days ago

My Knoxville Woodcraft was awesome. Sorry to hear this.

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

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CyberDyneSystems

104 posts in 688 days


#11 posted 628 days ago

The one in my neck of the woods closed last December…

We no longer have a single place in Rhode Island to buy tools other than the big box stores.
The last independent store is actually trying to hold on, but they have about 30% of the normal inventory, so you can’t actually buy anything there, and thus can;t support them.

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Zinderin

94 posts in 632 days


#12 posted 628 days ago

Why do you guys care? Both Woodcraft and Rockler sell on Amazon, and you get free shipping. Other than getting your eyeballs on the wood you’re buying, why would you go into the store anyway?

I am not being a smart* ... my local Woodcraft store is over 10 miles away from me … with gas prices what they are, and me driving an F150 … that’s $5 surcharge JUST to go look in the store. And my local Rockler is 15 miles the other direction.

Back to the wood … the only thing I’d miss is the exotic turning stock. Otherwise I shop at my local Ganahl Lumber and two other hardwood suppliers ... they have a better selection of hardwoods and better prices than Rockler or Woodcraft ever thought of.

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KenBry

449 posts in 947 days


#13 posted 627 days ago

Here in phoenix the woodcraft wants to add a second sore on the oppisite side of town. They are doing pretty good.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

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waho6o9

4445 posts in 1077 days


#14 posted 627 days ago

“Why do you guys care? Both Woodcraft and Rockler sell on Amazon, and you get free shipping. Other than getting your eyeballs on the wood you’re buying, why would you go into the store anyway?”

Zinderin remarked.

That’s just wrong dude.

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syenefarmer

379 posts in 1580 days


#15 posted 627 days ago

I care that my local Woodcraft stays afloat because;

1. They pay taxes that help keep my taxes down.
2. They employ local people who also pay taxes that help keep my taxes down.
3. Their employees spend their wages locally which helps other local businesses stay open.
4. Those other local businesses also pay taxes and employ even more local people.
5. Internet businesses do very little if anything at all to help my local economy.
6. My RAM 1500 likes the people who work there.

View derosa's profile

derosa

1472 posts in 1335 days


#16 posted 627 days ago

Zinderin- I find that it is nice to be able to go in and stare at all the tools and see for myself if I like something and get informed opinions. I wouldn’t have made any pens if it had been based solely on buying off the internet. Course that might mean that I’d have just saved the cost of the pen making equipment but that wouldn’t be as much fun.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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handi

118 posts in 2939 days


#17 posted 627 days ago

I taught classes at the Woodcraft store near me when I lived in NH, and I just started teaching at the Woodcraft in Franklin, TN near where I live now.

I always pointed out to those in class that the classroom space was highly valuable and could have been used for more selling, but instead was there to serve them.

That alone is worth not only the trip for me (2 hours in NH and 45 minutes now) but also worth buying from them if only to insure that the class space is there tomorrow!

Yes, they both sell on Amazon, but can Amazon teach you how to get the most from your router? How to use a skew chisel on the lathe? How to program that new CNC you bought?

I have nothing against online shopping, I do it often, but I also make sure to shop at those local stores that offer me the service I want to help insure that they are there the next time.

Ralph

-- www.consultingwoodworker.com

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rance

4105 posts in 1660 days


#18 posted 627 days ago

I too teach classes at WC(in VA). Ya can’t always get the same thing from reading a book or watching a video. But I like books and videos too. The classroom setting is just another tool in the toolbox.

PS: It costs me $15 in gas for each trip up there, which comes out of my own pocket. I do it for the money, but I wouldn’t trade the warm fuzzies of helping a woodworker for anything.

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

View RoodyJ's profile

RoodyJ

47 posts in 1366 days


#19 posted 627 days ago

I feel for the franchisees at the closing store. My own venture into specialty retail (several years back) went south after the “big boys” started carrying the same lines. I could offer great advice and service, but couldn’t compete on the pricing.
I worked most recently for a franchise company, finding and setting up sites. Unfortunately, over the past few years, many of these these new franchisees have had the same story as the woodcraft store. The ones who are still there are struggling to stay afloat. Even though a franchise usually has tremendous logo and brand backing, selling “commodities” is a tough business.
I wish them well in their future.

-- Jim, Maryland

View Handtooler's profile (online now)

Handtooler

1009 posts in 632 days


#20 posted 627 days ago

Handi, Where is your store in Franklin? I suppose from Soddy Daisy I might take 111 toward I-40 like going to Nashville then get over somewhere above Murphesboro to find Ya’ll. Can I get on a monthly sale and class schedule like the one Chattanooga use to have? Russell

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12942 posts in 1193 days


#21 posted 627 days ago

I treated Woodcraft (when I had one) like a petting zoo. I’d go pet the big PM shelix at least once a week;)

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

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Dusty56

11605 posts in 2188 days


#22 posted 627 days ago

Bertha , LOL : )

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

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CyberDyneSystems

104 posts in 688 days


#23 posted 627 days ago

I also loved to grab close out and clearance items..
Not too mention, I really liked the manager of our local store. I was able to steer some business his way, and in turn he’d give me better than advertised prices pretty regularly.

You can;t get that kind of business relationship from Amazon/Internet stores.

... and Yeah, there’s the “petting Zoo” factor! :-)

Lastly, it was the live demo that sold us on a $5K Industrial SawStop.

The saddest part, they did not stay open long enough to sell us the saw :-(

I had to buy form a “local” Mom and pop that was out of state. (remember this is RI, where Conn and Mass are also “local” ;-)

View crank49's profile

crank49

3243 posts in 1471 days


#24 posted 627 days ago

Handtooler

Franklin Woodworking Supplies at Woodcraft – Woodworking Store …

www.woodcraft.com/stores/store.aspx?id=552

209 South Royal Oaks Blvd Watson Glen Plaza Franklin, TN 37064. Call Us: (615) 599-9638. Fax Us: 615-599-8524. Email Us: nashville-retail@woodcraft.com …

-- Michael :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2797 posts in 748 days


#25 posted 626 days ago

I buy a lot of my stuff at woodcraft. I could probably get slightly better deals on Amazon, but I want them to stick around. If If I buy something online from them, I do it in the store. It still gets shipped to my house and is the same exact price, but the store gets credit.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3470 posts in 828 days


#26 posted 626 days ago

Back when Woodworker’s Warehouse was still in business, I almost always chose to shop there over the new Woodcraft in Newington. The Woodcraft prices just seemed to be off the charts high. So when the Woodcraft franchise holder moved his location a mile or so away (to what I’m assuming was cheeper realestate) I never bothered to go see the new store for years.

Getting my new shop set up this past winter and getting back into non-construction related WW projects since, I’ve paid them several visits and I must say, I’m pretty impressed.

They seem to be much more competitively priced on many items than in the past and the sale prices are pretty good. I’m not in the Powermatic/General/Unisaw/Festool price bracket…. so most of my fixed machines continue to be 2nd hand refurbs….

Recently, I found myself doing just the opposite of what usually happens these days. I researched and shoped on Amazon, and then ran down to Woodcraft after work to buy it off the shelf.

Not every purchase qualifies for free shipping and not every one that does is over $25.

The guy was very helpful and knowledgeable, and even though I’d seen several videos on Youtube about burnishing scrapers…. the guy at Woodcraft demonstrated it for me and then coached me through the process.

I will say this though…. if a customer is standing at the counter to make a purchase and both registers are powered up and waiting…. one of the guys on the floor needs to man register #2 and ring you up post haste.

I recently had to put my purchase back on the shelf and walk out the door because I couldn’t wait any longer.

I’m not normally in such a hurry…. but when the wife calls on the cell and says, “I’m standing outside the grocery store and the icecream is melting…where are you” ... well then it’s time to go

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1014 days


#27 posted 626 days ago

I gotta be honest, I live very close, (Cleveland, TN), to that Woodcraft store and I tried, I really, really tried to patronize that store. Their location was premium, (right on a great part of Brainard Rd in Chattanooga, and they were in a really nice, new strip mall. So they had premium rent to boot. I bought a lot of wood and other small things from them, but just could not justify the wood anymore once I found Chattanooga Hardwoods. A lot of people I know here in the Chattanooga area run down to Kennasaw, GA to Peachtree Lumber for their exotics, but with gas, and if you don’t buy a lot, well Chattanooga Hardwoods is putting in a lot of exotics these days, and where else in Chattanooga you gonna find 5/4 African Mahogany in 10-12” wide planks for $6.50 a bd. ft.?
I buy AA flame maple from them for $5.00 a bd.ft., and their #1 planed 4S 4/4 red oak, some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, runs $3.50.
I bought my wood chiesels, some sharpening supplies, dust collection odds and ends, and other things like dyes from Woodcraft, but after a while, I just could not justify the wood or any of it, and Chattanooga Hardwoods, if you tell her what you want, (like Jatoba), she will put it in stock and its cheap. Also, it’s a heck of a lot less gas for us SE Tenn people than Peachtree Lumber, good as they are.
It was a great store with really nice people, but they just were laboring under too much overhead.
What Chattanooga really needs?? A store that supplies exotic lumber out of one of these empty buildings on the South Side, with planking and resaw service. The rest of it I can get online…

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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MattinCincy

128 posts in 1653 days


#28 posted 626 days ago

Here in Cincinnati we have a Rockler and A Woodcraft less than a quarter mile from each other and both of them have recently moved into larger stores. Somehow they coexist and are both able to remain profitable. We’re really lucky to have them and I shop both about equally.

-- Wag more, bark less.

View Domer's profile

Domer

238 posts in 1866 days


#29 posted 626 days ago

I shop a lot at my local Woodcraft in Kansas City. I know I probably pay a little more than ordering off the internet but just like Syenfarmer says, they contribute to the local economy.

But the real reason is that the guys at our local Woodcraft are just as nuts about tools and woodworking as I am. Maybe a little more.

I have gotten great advice from them and that has been worth well more than I have perhaps over paid them. Americans are crazy. They want everything for free and seem to be unwilling to pay for expertise.

And that’s the truth.

Domer

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tyskkvinna

1295 posts in 1486 days


#30 posted 626 days ago

I am a huge supporter of my local woodcraft. It’s run by really great people who truly care. I’m sad to hear of another one closing.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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Howardh

20 posts in 634 days


#31 posted 626 days ago

Our local Woodcraft in Dallas is part of a six store Texas group owned by the same guy. It’s the smallest store, by far, and the oldest. Houston, San Antonio and Austin all have new spaces with up to 3 times the space. They always seem to be pretty busy but I have noticed some turnover in the ee’s lately. They have a few guys there who have been there forever and they are a great resource. They are also great to be around and just hang out on a Saturday and that you can’t replace by the internet.

-- If you learn from your mistakes I must be a genius.

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1423 days


#32 posted 626 days ago

I quit going to the WC store in Columbus Ohio because the woman there followed me around like a little puppy dog. I came within an inch of telling her one day,they had nothing in that store I couldn’t buy and I didn’t have to check with my wife to buy it but it was easier to just go another 10 miles to the WoodWerks store. Their loss.
I am very happy with the WC store in Clearwater even if it is 35 miles one way. I’ve had good service and good help from them. They are a little pricy but they usually have what I go for. If I have time to wait I use the Internet.
I am sorry to hear the store is closing though. Hate to hear about any jobs loss.

Tennessee I would be interested in an addy for Chattanooga Hardwoods. I go thru there once in a while.(up 75 then 24 to Nashville)

-- Life is good.

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bruc101

526 posts in 2042 days


#33 posted 626 days ago

I’ve never been in a WC and have never ordered anything from them. It’s sad to see some of their stores having to close because of the economy but many other stores are still closing also. Our HD came close to shutting down last year because of the economy. They’re still open but my understanding is they had to lay off people and make other cuts as well. I very seldom buy anything from them either. We have two locally owned builder supply stores so I support them and there’s not that much difference in price. I get discounts there but HD won’t even discuss it with me.

The last time I went to Highland Hardware I said that would be my last trip there. I had spent 1000’s of dollars with them over the years and they seem to have forgotten that the last time I was in there.

I’ve also spent 1000’s of dollars with Stone Mt. Power Tools and they remember when I either call or walk in their door and I’ve yet not to be treated with respect in there and usually save money when buying from them.

We can feel things going down again with our regular vendors for our cabinet shops and that tells us more things about how the economy in our area is not gaining very much if any at all in our industry.

One thing we do is take care of our equipment and not abuse it and have to either replace or do a lot of repairs on any of it. I’ve bought nothing in years for my personal shop and have everything I need to build probably anything with wood so I’m not interested in all the new trendy things constantly showing up.

I know a guy does woodworking for a hobby and has probably $20K worth of equipment and all he builds is bird houses, boxes and cuttin boards. To each his own though. I’ve got another friend that builds beautiful QueenAnne furniture with probably $3k invested in equipment.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

14580 posts in 1366 days


#34 posted 625 days ago

There will probably be a lot of retail stores closing in the coming few years. First of all, the economy is not picking up. People are in debt and a lot of people are out of work. Retail chains are adding stores to increase their sales but they are finding that their sales per sq foot are falling. People will use the brick and mortar store to go check out the merchandise to decide if they want it and then go home and order it on the internet after finding the cheapest price. There’s less traffic at the shopping centers because people are staying away but also because there is empty spaces all over that don’t draw traffic. Commercial property is probably going to take a big hit, too.

helluvawreck
https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View SCABrown's profile

SCABrown

18 posts in 1042 days


#35 posted 614 days ago

Well as a former employee of the Chattanooga store, It certainly was sad to see it go. I had the pleasure of working with one of the best bosses I have ever had, Rodney “The owner”. The managers Chris and Colby. As well as Bill and Brody. It was a great run. But the Chattanooga market wasn’t too great for the store. and the economy certainly didn’t help either. But heres to you Rodney for keeping the doors open as long as you could.

-- Aaron

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2157 posts in 1461 days


#36 posted 612 days ago

I enjoyed the Woodcraft store in Chattanooga. Had lots of interesting conversations with the employees and tons of advice. Nearst to me is Knoxville- 75 miles! Getting where I don’t like to shop via Internet. Post office lost our grandson’s birthday present and all I got was excuses as to why I didn’t get it.

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2280 posts in 1426 days


#37 posted 612 days ago

We don’t have Woodcraft in Canada, but I have spent quite a few hours in the Franklin TN store while killing time before flying home after meetings. Knowledgeable staff and friendly service.

Lee Valley would be the closest thing I would compare it to, and fortunately we have one only half an hour from my place.

Sorry to hear of the loss of the store!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View TraveledSome's profile

TraveledSome

30 posts in 717 days


#38 posted 545 days ago

Argh, I hate to read this tonight, I had planned to go there tomorrow morning, and only now found out. (it’s been awhile) I live in Lakesite area (Hixson-Soddy) and desperately need a REAL woodworking store. I am restoring a Grizzly G1023, and needed to talk to someone about arbor bearings. Is there ANY place in Chattanooga area open on Saturdays? Walter Woods is closed, Red Bank Mine Supply is closed, Dixie is closed, every darn store in area I need to get to is closed on my only day off.

I’m sad to see you guys closed. I have to admit I have been among those that came and didn’t buy…..much. I did get tools etc online/harbor freight because Heck I am on tight budget have a baby, and it’s tough to make ends meet, I make no apology for doing what is best for my family and budget.

However I did buy books there, and seldom left without getting some tidbit, books more then anything, because i don’t like buying them sight unseen. I probably have spent a few hundred worth on those, and there might be some little item I just could find no where else and HAD to get then, and so they were good for that.

Realisticly my wife and I both work, and have a 18 month, and it’s just a tight period. My first go to store is the Tractor Supply because their close, and surprisingly have a better selection on many NEEDED things more then Woodcraft, and all the big box stores, and even home Depot, but with harbor freight prices. There wasn’t a single store in town that ccarried V-belts for saw for instance…..not even Walter Woods…and auto stores carry crappy ones. Tractor Supply has it! But they don’t have specific wood working tools….

I wanted to take Woodcraft classes as well but honestly it’s on the other side of town, and not easy for me to get to, and they are not cheap either. I really think they would have done better on the north side of town. Yes I know 75 is busier….but the people who hobby woodcraft, and have the incomes to buy the highgrade handtools they carried are much more common in Hixson to Dayton. I can say that as a bargain hunter by the fact of what you find at estate/garage sales around town. Without giving too much away on my favorite places to look, you just don’t find much at garage sales in east Brainerd. If it was say around 153 Northgate, I think a store would do well.

The things they did best in my opinion was their exotic woods, book area, and the classes I didn’t get to attend, but looked on some with envy. For tools etc….they have to be more of a place to get those items other stores don’t carry that you need in a pinch…like ummmm…..Arbor bearings… :P Machine Belts….those things I would buy because no one else has them or if they do their closed on Saturdays… :(

-- "People are eternally trying to walk out of difficulties, instead of trying to work out of them."

View Straightbowed's profile

Straightbowed

717 posts in 798 days


#39 posted 545 days ago

yes I love the woodcraft they is always nice to me when I go to louisville and nashville itsa hundred miles for me but I still love the woodcraft store hate to see this happen

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country


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