I finally got the Jet Sharpener, and got to use it a little last night. But before I tell you about the tool, I need to vent first
First off, I believe very strongly that if you get good service somewhere; tell people about it, and the same goes for bad service. In this way, people that go out of the way for you, get something for it, whether itís additional business, more/ better tips or something else. And the people that ďscrewĒ you (no pun intended); either will learn from their mistakes and improve or go and do something else, that they are probably better at and will be happier.
So here goes my venting:
On January 10, I went to Woodworkers Depot, one of two woodworking store in Green Bay, WI. I have done a fair amount of business with them over the years. I probably spend about $150 a month in the store. Granted, I am not their biggest customer by fair, but I was a regular and loyal customer. So I walked in ready to buy mostly the Jet but maybe a Tormak. When I got back to where the sharpeners are displayed I noticed a DVD playing, showing off the Jet and watched it for a couple minutes, the store was getting ready to close, but I really wanted to watch the DVD, thinking that would make up my mind as to which one to buy. I asked the sales clerk if I could borrow the DVD, take it home and watch it, bring it back first thing, as they opened the next day. His answer was a flat out and loud ďNOĒ. So took a step back and explained my intent, that I wanted to buy some type of sharpener (turns out they donít carry the Tormak) and that getting to watch the DVD would really help me make my decision, that I didnít want to use the equipment, just wanted more information. This time I got a louder and more forceful ďNOĒ, like I was wasting his time. So I asked him to call the owner and ask him. The answer I got back was, if I wanted to watch the DVD, I should buy the machine, take it home, watch the DVD and if I like it keep the machine, if not and if I didnít unpack the machine, I could return it, provided I paid cash for it now. Now I had made it clear, I was willing to leave my driver lic or credit card, if I didnít return; they could have charged me for the whole machine. I will whole heartedly agree, what I was asking was out of the normal business practice, but from a Mom and Papa type store, trying to compete with the big box stores, wouldnít you think they would go a little out of their away to help a customer, especially if it didnít cost them anything.
The funniest thing is, the week before I sent a friend there who was looking for a new vise, he bought one there, but complained about the service, and I defended the store.
So I left and drove to the other woodworking store we have in town, Bay Verte Machinery. These guys specialize in machinery and power tools. I walked in and talked with the sales guy, told him exactly what had just happened. He laughed and said I wasnít the first person to leave there and come to him. Now they donít carry the Jet line, but could order it. After I got to watch some of the video at WWD, and looked at the price, $259 for the machine, base and cover. I decided to go with Jet. He said he would have to order it and it should be in the following week, Monday or Tuesday and he would match WWD price. Well Monday and Tuesday came and went, I stopped by on Wednesday to see what was up and was told they would look into it. Stopped back on Friday, as I still hadnít heard from them. The counter person told me she would talk with the buyer and see what was up. Still didnít hear from them. So yesterday I stopped in, going to tell them I was no longer interested and would go somewhere else with my business. Low and behold, it came in yesterday and they were still unpacking the load. I mentioned to the lady behind the counter that the sales man promised it to me last week, her response was, he always lies about timetables, and over promises. So I guess thatís what the store wants to be known for, lying and over promising.
Needless to say, I wonít be going back to either store, when I need more supplies, I will head down to Appleton, Milwaukee or mail order what I need. Somebody out there must want my business; really I am a nice fairly easy going person.
On to the tool review: The machine is well thought out and appears well built. Unlike the Tormak, it has variable speed, which you increase as the wheel wears down. The stone came needing only a little truing, but the truing jig is not supplied with the machine. And I did not have one, yet. It does come with the standard chisel jig, and has several other jigs available. I sharpened a few chisels and found the stone to cut fast and guide bar and jig worked great, I am now missing a bunch of hair on my arm, as I was seeing how sharp each chisel came out. I was a little disappointed with the honing wheel. The plastic wheel fits loosely on the arbor and was also out of round. Not a big deal for honing, but could have been better. I had picked up the small knife jig, but had difficultly sharpening small knives with it, and kept grinding the jig, due to it being to bulky.
Overall, I am happy with the machine. For the price, I think itís a good value and has lots of options.