Thoughts on Woodcraft

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edicehouse

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
3,474
Location
Suffolk, VA
For kits in a pinch, they are great. For blanks, mehhhh. Depends on what you are looking for. You have Fred, Australian burls, and Yukon Lumber within a few minutes of you. Oh yea, I have a few thousand blanks too. :wink:
Are more than 5 NOT cocobolo? LOL
 
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edicehouse

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
3,474
Location
Suffolk, VA
The biggest thing I have noticed from everyone is they all agree they are very friendly, helpful, great staff. A lot of businesses could learn from them.
 

Bear-31

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
126
Location
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.
I frequent my Woodcraft almost weekly (less than 10 miles away). Yes their prices are higher on most things, but the ways they support the local woodturning/woodworking community are priceless. A few our woodworking groups meet out of ours at least monthly at which time they offer a discount to members for purchases. Several of our members also moonlight as instructors for WC. Being able to talk to the knowledgeable and friendly staff is something most internet companies can't offer in the same capacity. I may not buy a lot of my supplies there but I know what it's like to not have a brick and mortar store to go get actual hands on the items, and I for one hope myself and the local community purchase enough product from them to keep them in business.
 

inkwoodmetal

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Spokane
Spokane Woodcraft has closed

Spokane Woodcraft just closed one month after I met John and got my first lesson from him in a pen workshop. About 6 weeks after I'd gotten a lathe and nearly every tool I could there to try and keep them in business.

Hope John Ferrell and rest of the woodcraft crew is doing well.

My WC is 255 miles away in Spokane, and I love any excuse to drive to Spokane so I can visit Nick and his wonderful family and employees. Even though I can only buy directly a couple of times a year, when I walk in the door, it's like I was just there the day before and I'm part of the family. There is a lot to say about customer service like that.

In addition, if I have any problems with the products I buy from them, and it's usually at least a hundred dollars per visit....er...or more, (don't tell wife!!!) they are willing to do whatever necessary to take care of the problem. If it wasn't for John, one of there star employees, I would have never gotten this far into this crazy hobby. He is extremely knowledable about pen turning and has the patience of a Saint.

Overall, the Spokane WC is my favorite store and I hope like heck they never have to close their doors as so many of the others have had to do across this country!

mtgrizzly52
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sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,899
Location
Phoenix, AZ
One thing I can say for our local Woodcraft. They have been one of the biggest supporters of the blind center since the day we started. They donated a BUNCH of kits, tools, supplies etc. to get us started and gave us huge discounts on our grinder and sharpening jigs, for example. Our local Rockler has also been very good to us. Their prices are higher than online stores, but I make it a point to patronize them whenever I can.
 

MTViper

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
556
Location
Clyde, Texas
My "local" WC store is 140 miles away (Hurst). There's another one 170 miles away (Plano). I try to visit one or both every 1-2 months when I run away from home to do my woodturning shopping. I also visit the Rocklers (Arlington and Addison) and WoodworldTX in Dallas. I buy most of my pen kits from IAP vendors, though. I buy other things from the brick and mortar stores.

My Hurst store is where I bought my Jet 1642, Jet grinder, and Sawstop contractor saw along with most of my turning tools. I also took my first turning class there. The staff is knowledgeable like everyone else says and very friendly. I enjoy visiting with them even when I don't buy anything.

I watch the sales and if I see a sale item I want, I try to get there the day the sale starts because usually stores don't get a lot of some high dollar sales items. As long as I can run away from home, I'll keep shopping at Woodcraft.

Steve
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
7,248
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
Our local WC store is 55 miles away in Knoxville... I visit occasionally, but find it to be more expensive for a lot of items and not as customer friendly as when I first started going there. I think the store has changed hand some years back and an all new crew. I did buy my 1442 Jet there and a few other items, but do most of my shopping on line. I've stopped doing pens a while back and mostly bowls and pepper mills now. Bowls are made with local woods I get for free, just the effort to pick up and haul home... my pepper mill inserts for the crush grinds I get out of Canada as he has the best prices I've found... just have to watch the exchange rate on the CAD.
For the exotic woods we have a wood importer near Knoxville that I frequent, when I have a couple of hundred $$... can't get in and out for less than $200.... great people running that store.

I started with the PSI tools, Benjamin's best, but am gradually replacing them with Hurricane's... I think I like better. I do use all PSI chucks though... they work just fine for bowls and such.
 
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keithlong

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
1,378
Location
Athens, Alabama
I like woodcraft, went there for my first pen turning club meeting. I just wish there was one closer to me. I am an hour drive away from the nearest one, but when they put certain pen kits on sale I try to make a trip and get some. They also offer a 10% discount during the month of your birthday. This a one time buy during the month. I bought my delta lathe from them. they were going on sale beginning the 1st day of March and my birthday is in Feb., so I called them and asked them to hold one for me the afternoon of the 1st and they did. My wife and I drove up there that afternoon and they went ahead and gave me the birthday discount because I had called them the day before. Saved me about 90.00.
 

Rjweb

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2018
Messages
9
Location
Texas
I have purchase many items from WC, and they have different sales durning is the year, 10% off but they won’t give it to you for power tools, jigs, router tables, RJ
 

acmaclaren

Angi the Maker
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
231
Location
Seattle WA
I buy the occasional pen kit there. However, I mostly buy online from small businesses. I do however volunteer at my local WC. They host Pens For Troops and Breast Cancer Awareness turn-a-thons. I go there to watch their demos as well.
 

csevengo

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Arizona
I haven't had the best experience in the local WC stores here in town. They have a great selection of wood so I'll continue to go in from time to time. When it comes to pen kits and turning supplies, I'm lucky to be in Phoenix. Chad at The Turners Warehouse is great. Best customer service I've experienced.
 

Woodchipper

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
2,635
Location
Cleveland, TN
The Chattanooga WC store is about 35 miles. The wife and I combine a trip to WC, Ollie's, Harbor Freight and McKay's Books. My grandson and I took penturning classes a different times. It was amazing, Bill La Roque anticipated questions in the class before they were asked. I have always had great service from them. The store is also a supporter of our woodturning club. They have had us in the classroom for some demos in the past. My wife gets texts from WC. WE went to the store and she not me, picked out several kits and blanks on sale. Sign in auto dealer- We must take care of our customers. If we don't, our competition will.
 

mecompco

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
1,607
Location
Fairfield, Maine
Never been in one--I have ordered on-line when they've had various sales. No idea where the closest one to Maine is--we do have a Rockler's, which I guess must be similar. It's a good hour and a half down in S. Portland, but I do try to stop in when I'm down there. I like to look at the blanks and I don't mind paying a bit more to pick out antler blanks that are drilled where I want them to be. They, too, have sales from time to time that are a very good deal.
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
1,748
Location
Franklin, IN
Had to check and see if I had weighed in on this one. My job puts me on the road throughout the Midwest. As a result, I can hunt down Woodcraft in various cities and after a couple of visits, I often get asked by managers or owners how they compare or what I like about different stores.

Remember that Woodcraft is primarily a franchise, with stores owned by individuals. As such, there is a lot of inconsistency and variation.

First, the two not only m the Midwest. What I refer to as North Houston off of 1960 and South Houston, which I think was off one of the loops. South Houston was a great store, lots of space, dedicated training facilities, great wood supply and put their clearance in a single area and their sale items in another area (when possible). Quality staff and not bad to get to.

North Houston WAS kinda cramped but they have relocated. Not as broad of a wood supply but some good bulk deals. They also had about everything, well staffed and easy to get to. A good store.

Indianapolis has a very good store. Decent room, now has a separate training room, great staff, less of a wood selection but they are now getting good bulk buys that aren’t advertised. Indy has the most engaging and interested staff I have found, and several Pen turners. It is cumbersome to get to.

Louisville has the worst Woodcraft I have been to. It has a decent space and is potential. Wood selection is minimal and picked through. Stick is often depleted, sale items very limited. Good staff typically doesn’t stay long. Staff tend to openly gripe about the store, management and ownership. A change of ownership/management could make this a good store, but I obviously do not know what the constraints are at this location. One of the few I will simply drive by.

Dayton has some potential but may be a newer store. Only been there once but old sale prices were up, inventory was sitting around in boxes and the staff seemed to lack engagement.

Columbus, Ohio is a fantastic facility. Great wood selection and very nice layout. Staff is a little hit or miss, they have some solid folks and some who seem less so. Tend to have about everything in stock and a few special deals like bulk wood or off-cut discounts.

Greater Chicago area I still struggle to find my way back to the same store. Need to remember to save in GPS. I know there is a very good one and one that is less so.

Cincinnati has smaller cramped store that still manages to be very good. They do run out of sale stuff on occasion but also have several other deals going on and a strong pen interest.

These are only my opinions and others may differ.




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dogcatcher

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,824
Location
TX, NM or on the road
We have no woodworking store where I live, so when we go to the big city I usually stop at Woodcraft and Rockler. Not that I need anything, but I always find some stuff that I don't need that follows me home. Not because I need it, but because I want the store to be there the next time I go there.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
7,248
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
South Hampton Institute of Technology.

Good one.
I finally got the joke, but in my part of the world it was Sam Houston Institute of Technology... a teachers college.

I do like the Wood Craft in Knoxville... I go there occasionally to look around, but mostly I buy off line for most of what I need... WC is an hour and half away and not someplace I'll just run up to...
 

pshrynk

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
251
Location
Lake City, Minnesota
I've nothing to compare to, but the WC in the Twin Cities is great! The staff were very knowledgeable and very helpful. Also know when to just stand back and let me browse. Great selection of woods and kits. Spent WAY too much, but looking forward to working all of them.
 
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