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    Pathetic Workmanship

    Sometimes I look at a new piece of gear and wonder how anyone expects this stuff to be bought. Sorting through my cast iron, looking for what I might give away or sell, I noticed the finish on my latest Lodge griddle was so rough, hard to imagine flipping a good egg 0n it. All my older stuff is smooth. My grandmas old frying pans are smooth, and weren't $150 like a new Smithey. What happened to us?

    #2
    Originally posted by Black_Fly View Post
    Sometimes I look at a new piece of gear and wonder how anyone expects this stuff to be bought. Sorting through my cast iron, looking for what I might give away or sell, I noticed the finish on my latest Lodge griddle was so rough, hard to imagine flipping a good egg 0n it. All my older stuff is smooth. My grandmas old frying pans are smooth, and weren't $150 like a new Smithey. What happened to us?
    Well there is only one solution for you my insect friend.. Yard sales.. Among Grandmas unwanted china and silver there must be some unloved cast iron. I am with you .. That Lodge stuff is creepy.

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      #3
      We exported a lot of our manufacturing overseas. People making $3 a day don't care.
      Yesterday I picked some Justin roper boots that were on order at the local store. I have worn out many pairs of them. These were made in China and made "out of manmade materials". I was incredulous and cancelled the order on the spot.
      Forester

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        #4
        Originally posted by ppine View Post
        People making $3 a day don't care.
        My experience in manufacturing for many, many years is that western workers, protected by unions and HR departments have the worst work ethic. They feel as if are owed a job. I've worked with manufacturers that use green card entry level workers and they are the hardest workers I've seen. Probably because they know that there are 500 people waiting for their job. I'm not saying that's right but you are disparaging the wrong people. You have to pay for quality regardless of where the product is made. If you've ever used an iPad or iPhone you'll recognize the high level of quality. My iPad gets used 6-10 hours a day for work and entertainment. It has worked flawlessly for over 5 years. It was made in China
        Last edited by Big Al; 08-26-2019, 08:26 AM.

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          #5
          Big Al, i think you've got it backwards, it wasn't the union workers with the bad work ethic, it was the "profit at any cost" capitalists that destroyed it. Union or not, it's hard to keep" knuckling down" when the employers continually use fraud, corruption, and lobbying to scrape every penny of profit they can. How many years of being told you can't have a raise before you give up? how many times can your benefits be slashed? how many layoffs and hiring freezes, while you're being told daily that you need to work harder, can you handle? How many jobs being sent offshore does it take?
          It's not the workers with poor ethics, it's the workers whose spirit has been broken time and again, who like an old nag, just refuses to pull any more!
          I lived through the glory days of the 60's and 70's when money was easy and union workers were treated with respect, but I also lived through the 90's where the key word was "concession" and watched the layoffs, union busting and midnight flips, but the capitalists' income rose exponentially.
          As for your phone, I just replaced my N American made Blackberry after SEVENTEEN years simply because it needs a no longer made battery, with a piece of offshore crap that seems to have a mind of it's own!

          Comment


            #6
            Agree, union is a trigger word I should not have used, but I stand by my experience that i see a stronger work ethic among low wage green card workers. The "People making $3 a day" are not the problem.
            Last edited by Big Al; 08-26-2019, 11:51 AM.

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              #7
              I agree with Big Al, the only reason quality goes down over seas is when the companies decide to cut corners to make more profit. I use to be a buyer for an outdoor store and would meet with lots and lots of Reps and business owners, the main reason they go over seas it to increase profit and lower the cost, the second reason is to increase production, third is in some case that is the only place where the "technology" is available and well established!

              That said I try to buy as much as possible from manufacturer that have there stuff made in North America(Canada USA) cause I know at least the people are somewhat well paid, they work some what normal hours..... My problem with china is not quality, but ethic they just don't care about human rights, pollution etc....

              As for cast iron products, the reason quality as gone down, has to do with the demand, people just don't use the stuff anymore, and also I assume that the 100 years old skillet as been used so much with lard and bacon and butter and more lard that it actually is part of the reason the seasoning is so good in them( but I might be wrong)

              Comment


                #8
                Quality is not a function of the worker, it is a function of leadership. If quality is the goal, workers can be obtained, trained, and motivated to produce quality products if the market will support the sales price that is required. Today the market generally tends to trade quality for price. Our interest is a good example. Today there are canoes (including w/c canoes) and paddles available that
                equal to or better than any every made. However they generally do not sell at the price required to produce them. I am a good example. Sure I would like to have a new w/c canoe built to replicate an original Chestnut Prospector, and craftsman can be found to produce one. However I am not willing to pay the price that would be required. Lodge clearly slid the quality of its products down to control cost, and the sales price.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Three things drive quality. Market, management, and culture.

                  When I was managing a union crew, my experience was that the average white American laborer was not naturally as productive nor as conscientious as those green card workers or the Navajo workers I had. I also found though that I could bring almost all of the slackers around with wise leadership. Later, as a local union rep, I applied that philosophy successfully regardless of management attitudes - for everyone's benefit. In the end though, if the market accepts poor quality, the maker will reduce the product to that level for one reason or another. (greed or survival)

                  Another thing worth mentioning. My nephew who was in naval intelligence and spent a lot of time learning about Chinese culture has told me this about it, as best I recall.....The Chinese people are fully capable of producing very high quality goods, but also value efficiency. They consider it inefficient to produce any more quality than is demanded. If a company does not have their own quality control in place demanding a certain level of quality, they will get no more than is required to pass the most superficial inspection. I have a hard time finding fault with that.

                  Unfortunately, those products not valued by the masses are not attractive to manufacturers. And the masses don't generally value high quality in most things - af least, not enough to pay for them. Fortunately, the Internet allows us to find those small niche producers who can still cater to quality...

                  https://fieldcompany.com/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    For better or worse, I use online reviews and you tube videos consistently to determine quality. It's almost as good as having an item in your hands

                    Comment


                      #11
                      From what I understand, the reason for the pathetic cooking surface on new Lodge cast iron is because the uneven surface has more surface area and somehow takes lodge's factory 'pre-seasoning' better. People don't want to buy rusty cast iron, but that is how it would be if it were packaged and distributed un-seasoned. The alternative would be to put a proper coat of seasoning on the pan but that, of course, would cost them more money the same as sanding the cooking surface down would. I do not believe it is a lack of quality control as much as it is a push to drive prices down. Thanks, Walmart.

                      Alternatively, I am glad that there is still cast iron being manufactured in North America.

                      As was suggested above, garage sales, auctions, estate sales and elderly family members are the best places to get proper, vintage cast iron.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have ordered one new canoe in my life, a Wenonah, I think it was a Spirit II back in the 1980s. It was shipped from Minnesota to my home in Wyoming. A quick look at it showed vertical ripples in the hull about every 6 inches. It was worse than any used canoe. I refused the shipment and have never even thought about buying a new canoe since then.

                        On the other hand, there have been lots of great outdoor equipment that has exceeded expectations. I really like names like Filson, Duluth Pack, and some others.
                        Forester

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I also use online reviews and youtube videos to second guess my possible purchase, but they all have to be second guessed themselves. Not all of those reviewers are sensible people, sometimes they're more pathetically entertaining than insightfully informative. Grain of salt, a big big big grain of salt.

                          We love our 2 old cast iron pans, we use them often. I use a nonstick crepe pan for gentle stove top cooking like crepes and eggs, but the cast iron are ideal for everything else, browning, braising and baking all kinds of meat and veg. They work equally well for stove top, oven and bbq. My wife has a pair of nifty quilted handle covers for when they're too hot to handle.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Steve in Idaho View Post
                            Three things drive quality. Market, management, and culture.

                            When I was managing a union crew, my experience was that the average white American laborer was not naturally as productive nor as conscientious as those green card workers or the Navajo workers I had. I also found though that I could bring almost all of the slackers around with wise leadership. Later, as a local union rep, I applied that philosophy successfully regardless of management attitudes - for everyone's benefit. In the end though, if the market accepts poor quality, the maker will reduce the product to that level for one reason or another. (greed or survival)

                            Another thing worth mentioning. My nephew who was in naval intelligence and spent a lot of time learning about Chinese culture has told me this about it, as best I recall.....The Chinese people are fully capable of producing very high quality goods, but also value efficiency. They consider it inefficient to produce any more quality than is demanded. If a company does not have their own quality control in place demanding a certain level of quality, they will get no more than is required to pass the most superficial inspection. I have a hard time finding fault with that.

                            Unfortunately, those products not valued by the masses are not attractive to manufacturers. And the masses don't generally value high quality in most things - af least, not enough to pay for them. Fortunately, the Internet allows us to find those small niche producers who can still cater to quality...

                            https://fieldcompany.com/
                            That link is worth a million dollars! Thank you Odyssey!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Amen. Demand.

                              gGonna find some coarse sandpaper.
                              Last edited by Black_Fly; 08-27-2019, 12:14 PM.

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