About That Asia Trip

About that Asia Trip

A couple of people had less than kind words about Rob visiting China, and the fact that woodworking tools are being made there. – Editor

“Do the Chinese workers have pictures of the displaced American workers over their work stations? Perhaps they have U.S.A. maps, made in China, as dartboards.” – John Orvis

We’ve seen no evidence that Chinese workers hate the U.S., nor that they are any more aware of displaced American workers than we are of unemployed Chinese. Do you have pictures of unemployed Chinese workers over your workstation? When you come right down to it, we are all part of the same human race. – Editor

“I fully understand the financial realities behind the manufacture of tools offshore, but communist China? To send our jobs and cash to support a communist nation is beyond the pale for me. My family has lost five members of our family in the various military conflicts with these louts.” – Bob Wollard

We feel for you, and agree that it is unspeakable to lose loved ones in any war. It should be noted, though, that we have lost fellow Americans in wars against many countries who are now our friends and trading partners, including England (Revolutionary War, War of 1812), Spain (Spanish American War), Germany, Japan and Italy (World War II), and even Americans from south of the Mason Dixon line (Civil War) Communist China specifically is not now, nor has it ever been, at war with the U.S. They are currently one of our largest trading partners, and Chinese goods are all around us in every area of commerce. If anything, woodworking tools are one of the last avenues to jump on the bandwagon. Odds are that Chinese labor went into the clothing you are wearing, the cell phone you carry, and the computer on which you sent this letter. – Editor

“Thank you for your travel journal of your Asia trip. As a salesman in a specialized tool shop for woodworking it was really good information, but while reading it I thought about my own experiences and those of other businessmen visiting my shop who informed me about the very bad working and living conditions and low wages in the majority of the steel and tool industry, especially cheap and no-name brands. Though the companies you visited make quality machines and take care their people, that is still the exception in China. One should not think most fabrication over there is like what you showed us. The good thing is that life there will be changed for the better by our buying their quality tools.” – Alex Hemme

PVC Air Piping

This comes under the category of “saving our readers, one shop at a time.” – Editor

“The article about not using PVC for compressed air is very good. I am glad to know this because that was what I was going to use.” – Danny Duncan

Wax

We ran a message board thread in the last issue about why people wax their pieces, and that inspired this reader to add her insights. – Editor

“I like to finish a piece with a good quality paste wax as the final layer of a finish because it is one finish that the eventual owner will be able to maintain easily. Wax can smooth over and fill in minor wear marks, helping a finish to develop that patina that the Antiques Roadshow® guys get so worked up over. When someone asks how to care for their new or newly refinished piece, I tell the owner to rub it with a small amount of good quality of paste wax on a coarse rag, let it dry, then buff with a soft cloth or natural wool pad. Do this twice a year, and the piece will get smoother, sweeter, and mellower over time. My customers are usually surprised that it is so easy to care for their best pieces.” – Louise Heite

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