Not looking so good for Steel City

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Don K. posted 05-30-2009 12:42 AM 5313 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3324 days

05-30-2009 12:42 AM

I have a Steel City Mortiser that has been great. Woodcraft had a online sale…$269…so I ordered one for my dad for father day. Recently a woodcraft employee told me they were afraid that Steel City was going under. Looks like he may be right. I should have recieved the mortiser weeks ago…instead I just got my third e-mail from woodcraft..

Good Day,

Steel City has missed 3 expected ship dates and Woodcraft is unsure if or when the mortise will be available to ship to you.

Woodcraft Supply is offering to substitute a “like” product by Delta, Model #14-651 (our stock # 821867) for the same price.

Please contact me to let me know your decision.

Jeanne A. Douglass

Woodcraft Supply, LLC

Customer Service

1-800-535-xxxx ext. 2502

Not looking to good !!!!

-- Don S.E. OK

22 replies so far

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3430 days

#1 posted 05-30-2009 12:49 AM

Don, I have the Delta 14-651…works well for me.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#2 posted 05-30-2009 12:50 AM

Hey Don
Good to here from you Bud
I say go for the delta . I’ve had one for years and it has held up well. or cancel and get a grizzly floor model
of course more money. I’m sure good at helping people spend there money. I know You’ll work it out.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Graham's profile


19 posts in 3333 days

#3 posted 05-30-2009 01:39 AM

Yea, I have been hearing similar rumors.

Based on my experience with the poor manufacturing quality of the Steel City TS 35905, it’s a hybrid masquerading and sold as a cabinet saw (don’t they think we are going to figure this out at some point?), and a very positive experience with two new Grizzly tools, an 8” jointer and 15” planer.

Steel City doesn’t hold a candle to Grizzly. At least based on my experience between the two. If Steel City wants to differentiate themselves, they should first start with quality and honest marketing. I wish I would’ve listened to my friend when he said I get a Grizzly. For the price they are quite good. Maybe someday I can upgrade to a SawStop or Powermatic.

View laflaone's profile


59 posts in 3678 days

#4 posted 05-30-2009 01:43 AM

A lot folks are contemptuous of Craftsman, and sometimes rightfully so. However, consider this: I have a Craftsman 12” bandsaw I bought new over 30 years ago. I recently overhauled it, and had to buy 6 or 7 replacement parts for it using the parts list from the original manual. I received all of the parts within a week.

The thing you need to ask yourself when purchasing a high dollar tool is this: How long do I intend to keep it, and what are the odds the mfgr will still be around to supply parts?

-- "non illegitimis carborundum"

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3763 days

#5 posted 05-30-2009 02:51 AM

I’ve been waiting too. I haven’t received any messages recently from Woodcraft but received their June 2009 catolog today. They still have the Steel City mortiser listed for sale at $329.99. . . . . . Strange.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3763 days

#6 posted 05-30-2009 03:01 AM

I just looked on their web site and they have it for $299.99 but it says:

“This product is currently out of stock and is not available for back order.”

Doesn’t look good Don…............

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#7 posted 05-30-2009 03:22 AM

ouch….. sorry to hear that – but I’m not surprised by it – here is my review of their TS 35920, in which I got the same feeling about Steel City… their sketchy marketing techniques, and uncertainty and unease I got from communicating with them

I honestly hope for their sake it’s just a bump on the road and that they’ll get out of it – but based on my experience. I can’t say if that’s the case. time to stop and rethink their methods perhaps.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MikeS's profile


92 posts in 3845 days

#8 posted 05-30-2009 03:49 AM

I bought the SC 18” bandsaw about a year ago. It has been a wonderful machine. Very accurate, almost no vibration, etc. This news is worrisome, because if they go out of business, where can I get parts & service in the years to come? Hope they can work through this tough time.

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3350 days

#9 posted 05-30-2009 04:33 AM

Wow, hate to see an option for buyers go under, especially when yu can go to local stores and actually see the item and not have to buy blindly. But I know nothing regarding their quality, I never looked closely at any of their machines but at a cursory glance they looked good. Of course if I were considering buying one I’d look closer and do more research. I heard the rumors too but thought they were just that, rumors. They really haven’t been around that long either. And Don, I too am happy with my Delta mortiser so that substitution is a good one.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View FEDSAWDAVE's profile


293 posts in 3429 days

#10 posted 05-30-2009 04:59 AM

“Steel City doesn’t hold a candle to Grizzly.”

For the good of the common woodworker and my own sanity prevents me from commenting on that hilarious line.

-- David,

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3324 days

#11 posted 05-30-2009 06:55 AM

Thanks guys…As I said…it was to be a fathers day gift. I am sure he will be just as happy with the delta as he would have been with the steel city. I answered their e-mail and asked them if their deal includes 4 bits like the s/c did…even if it does not, I will probably get the delta and just pick him up some decent bits.

-- Don S.E. OK

View Graham's profile


19 posts in 3333 days

#12 posted 05-30-2009 07:09 AM


Have you had a good experience with Steel City and a bad one with Grizzly?

I have limited experience (thanks for being a jerk by preying on that, btw).

Of the five pieces of machinery that were within my budget; an Oneida cyclone dust collector, Steel City table saw with Incra LS positioner, Incra router table, Grizzly planer, and Grizzly jointer, the only one that was a complete pain was the Steel City Table saw.

SC TS Issues:

- They jammed an M16 nut onto the arbor shaft (motor end) instead of a fine pitch 5/8” jam nut (replaced).
- The whole cabinet was twisted by an improper trunnion mounting (completely disassembled and rebuilt).
- When I first started the saw, my level quickly vibrated off the table (replaced poly-v belt with 2 groove sheave and poly twist belt, as well as a gas dampening spring, almost no vibration left, I can balance a dime on it).
- The 45 degree miter-to-saw alignment was initially over 40 thousands off and the 90 degree alignment about 10 thousandths (re-shimmed everything to less than one thousandths).
- The screws used were so cheap that a few turns with an allen wrench was sure to tear it up (all cheapo grade 8’s were replaced with 12.9s fasteners).
- The two arbor bearings are cheap $5 parts, abec 3s (replacing with abec 7 ceramic vxbs)
- The adjustment handles vibrated badly (replaced with better quality handles)
- The teeth on the height adjustment linear gear was chipped (replaced).

I have photos of it all too.

And that’s still not even all of it. Although, it works great after two months of rebuilding and modifying it.

From my meager experience, the two Grizzly machines I have are leaps and bounds better than the Steel City TS. I’ve had no issues with them. They even arrived sooner than expected. The Incra and Oneida items stand out as especially nice (maybe because they are Made in the USA?).

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3381 days

#13 posted 05-30-2009 07:21 AM

It’s a shame to hear about the quality issues with some of their table saws, because from my good experience with the SC bandsaw, I was looking forward to buying more of their tools in the future. I still might, if they’re still around, but I guess I better check the reviews on that particular tool before I do.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View 747DRVR's profile


199 posts in 3354 days

#14 posted 05-30-2009 04:20 PM

If they are in trouble,I wonder how it will affect Orion and their Craftsman ZC saws.Also I would assume that either SC or Orion is making the new Rigid saw.

View MikeS's profile


92 posts in 3845 days

#15 posted 05-31-2009 09:30 PM

I have no personal experience with Grizzly. Have some friends with Griz table saws and they are happy. I really like my Jet cabinet table saw. On the bandsaw side, I have a friend who owns a Grizzly 14” bandsaw and he swears to never buy another. As I stated above, my 18” SC has been a very good machine. Passed the nickle test right from the start, with no adjusting required.

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics