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1996/97 Catalog Cover   1996/97 Woodworking Customer Letter
 
Print Catalog Cover
 
Dear Customer,

For a host of reasons, many of you want to know where every tool we sell is made. Accordingly, we always identify those tools made in Canada or the United States, our two main markets. But it is next to impossible to accurately identify the country of origin of tools coming from Europe or Asia, or virtually anywhere else outside North America.

For example, we get offers to have tools stamped with whatever country of origin we would like. In some European Common Market (ECM) factories, they maintain a stock of stamps of all the ECM countries. Because there is virtually no border control between the countries, a firm in Germany can stamp "Made in France" on a tool and only the buyer and seller need ever know.

But it does not stop there. Some European firms bring in tools from Asia and then stamp their own name and false country or origin on them. Some Japanese saws are actually made in Korea; only the handle is applied in Japan. Tools made in China but shipped from Taiwan are often marked "Made in Taiwan". And so it goes. The rest of the world is much more cynical about all of this than we are in North America. Their view seems to be "Hey, the buyer wants a tool made in Austria; that's how we'll stamp it."

To our knowledge, the vast majority of North American retailers and manufacturers play by the rules, but your best assurance of tool quality is always a guarantee and reputation of your supplier and not the country of origin stamped on the tool.

Yours sincerely,

Leonard G. Lee
President

P.S. Among the baubles on the front cover is a very shallow bone-handled gouge, ornately finished and dated 1671 (carved into the butt). Our speculation is that it was a surgical tool, but we would be glad to hear from anyone who could confirm or refute that.

 
 


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