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Why no mid-priced mid range British woodwork machines?

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johnelliott

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Recently I purchased a panel saw and a planer thicknesser. The first made in Germany, the second in France. Why is it that there was no British made alternative, I wonder. I can understand why machines made in the third world would appear to be good value but surely european manufacturers work under much the same conditions as those in England?

I think that part of the reason is that what British manufacturers are left cannot bring themselves to think in terms of the needs of individual woodworkers. They make for medium sized workshops only. Also they seem unwilling to invest in or convert to the aluminium extrusions which are an essential part of mid range machines now

Shame, isn't it

John
 
A

Anonymous

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Emmm,

Yes, as you say, its a shame.

BTW are you Johnelliott?
 

Scrit

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It goeas a little like this....

Once upon a time there was a huge industry with many well known names. One of the well known names had grown over the years by buying many of its competitors (Wadkin - who bought Pickles, Sagar, Burroughs-Green of Bursgreen fame, etc). Then along came q wizard or two (no names - no pack drill), who in a time of entrepreneurial excess (read, the Thatcher years) and seeing many businesses in this sector asset rich (large factory sites, diminished order books, low share values) bought the oldest established of the names, Thomas Robinson.

Instantaneously Robinson's were transmuted into an energetic leader of industry which proceeded to buy up all the other players - Wadkin, Dominion, Ryeburn, Fell, Brookman, etc - and shut them down to rationalise all the work at one company (which incidentally was NOT the Robinson site). Seeing how successful this was they rationalised all of the companies divisions onto the same site (which is why Bursgreen, Colne and Scarborough were closed down). The only other players left standing simply went bust (that was Wilson and Startrite) or sold out and retired. For all this one of the wizards was bestowed titles and fame....

The reality is that many of the firms named had been starved of investment for years, so the Robinson "rationalisation" (some would call it asset stripping) was probably overdue. What a pity it is that few people in this country take any heed of the calls to invest in manufacturing...

And for good measure, I have to admit that most of my kit is Italian or German - although my pin router (a Wadkin UX) and morticer (Multico MCD) are British :lol:
 
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Anonymous

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Scrit,

I've been reading some of your posts on this Forum.

I'm quite impressed with your in depth knowledge of the UK's woodworking machine manufacturing history.

Just to be nosey, what exactly do you do. Its nice to see some new blood here by the way.

Regards
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hardly a newcomer, just been "off the air" for some time.

BTW, I make furniture for a living (huh, call that a living :? )
 

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