The Great Obsolescence

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Not that this is anything new but I thought I would relate my journey down that road of looking for parts.


Now a more popular model I can't imagine, and the 14", 1 hp Delta that I bought from a very nice gentlemen off the local used web site last week, could not have been in better shape if it had just rolled of the production line 10 years ago. Complete with extra blades, a few how to books plus an extra Kreg fence, I was more than happy to give up the $425.00 the man was asking.


But I wasn't done there. The real chore that I wanted to accomplish with my new found treasure was re-sawing. But in order to do that I would need the riser block and guide adapter kit to get the clearence I wanted.


Some back story now.


The local woodworking shop that supplied tools, blades, bits, sharpening and accessories has closed it's doors after 35 years of service to a thriving community of local craftsmen and hobbiests alike. The reason? The Brains of the operation/Manager had a disagreement with the owner (who had no interest in the daily operation of the business) and he walked out. Hence the other empoyee's seeing that the owner was going to get more involved, scattered like rats from a burning building. And anotherwise sound business evaporated within 2 years.


Now we are left with a national chain that is more interested in industrial and automotive equipment than woodworkers. And although they do have a large inventory, what they lack is the knowledge and personality of the small shop I used to deal with. And most of there stock is so miss managed that I have stopped shopping there. I ordered a dovetail jig from them that arrived in there store in a box that looked like a truck had run over it. And after opening it, clearly it had. Plus they don't carry Delta.


But who does anymore?


Here on the other side of the 49th parallel or Canada as it is affectionatly called, Delta has all but ceased to exist. A trip to the local sevice centre where I've had arbour work and buy replacment motors came up dry. They actually called Delta with there thumb on the page in the cataloge with the part number and talked to someone in South Carolina that said. "You might as well rip that whole page out because Delta does not have, and will never stock the riser block adapter...EVER". They then said to try Jet or Powermatic they will have one.....This was what Delta said!


I was stunned. Not only has this once great institution started recommending the compitition, they are so out of the loop that they don't realize those brands are not available in the Great White North. At least not that I've ever seen. Or would they even fit?


Reps are all but gone. And service centers that had done busness with the company for years were expected to re apply to the new company to gain acceptance into there service agreement. One that demanded a certain amount of stock that most places don't want to carry because they aren't retail outlets.


After a bunch of phone calls and a 4 hour drive I located probably the last riser block kit on the west coast.


So the moral of the story is...if you need parts for a Delta product, or think your going to, get it now, as word from all those that I talked to said that, What you see is what you get. And even if they say they can get it, there are no gauntees that it will even show up. Several shops relayed stories of parts ordered that they have never seen.


Now all is not bad as the word is Delta is getting better and are making every effort to make things right.

But like my local woodworking shop, has the damage been done?

And will they ever be what they once were with the latest corporate aquisition by an off shore interest?


Happy Re-sawing









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And will they ever be what they once were with the latest corporate aquisition by an off shore interest?


Doubt it.  But so what?  They don't make Pontiacs anymore either.  If you're ever in the market for another bandsaw, check out Laguna...they make a mean 14".  They'll go out of business or sell off one day, too.


Now the darkness only stays the night-time

In the morning it will fade away

Daylight is good at arriving at the right time

Its not always going to be this grey


All things must pass

All things must pass away



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A few years ago, Delta went through a major restructuring and that interrupted their supply chain.  I would have thought they'd have that back on track now, but apparently not?


I'm guessing that the national chain of which you speak is KMS Tools.  The store near me happens to be HQ and I've found the staff to be very good and the selection of woodworking tools equal to automotive/metalworking tools.  They are usually my first stop when I need something repaired.  A 3+ years ago, they got my Delta DJ-20 sorted out, but I haven't had to fix anything Delta since then.


The other tool company in BC that comes to mind when you mention Delta is Summit Tools.


By the way, Ultimate Tools in Burnaby, BC carries Powermatic.  You won't find Jet Woodworking in Canada, however.


PS:  Funny story.  A customer of one of the aforementioned stores was so disappointed/upset with the stock levels of a certain power tool that they did an internet search for other local suppliers and somehow determined that I was one (I'm not!).  I got a very strange phone call that day.

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The couple of Delta tools I have (a lathe and their T-2 fence) are excellent.  That said it seems like the company is having a lot of major problems right now.  That said, I can't recommend anyone buying any of their machines.  At least not until the company stabilizes. 

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Interesting comments all.


I guess I just hate to see change for no reason.

Particularily if it is at the expense of what is, to the actual purchaser, a good product.


I imagine thats why Steel City exsists.

I have a table saw and dust colector of there's and am reasonably pleased with there performance.


Thanks for listening

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