made in china ?

sgcsalsero Posted By sgcsalsero, Mar 15, 2006 at 5:53 PM

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  1. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero
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    Hi, 1st time post. I will be picking up a woodstove in the spring from one of two local dealers in Akron, Ohio area. One dealer
    mentioned that they don't carry Vermont Castings wood stoves because they are now made in China, is this true ?
     
  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy
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    There web site says made in north america, i believe there still made in canada. Sounds like you found a dealer with shady sales pratices.
     
  3. Homefire

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    I see how the dealer got the two confused, they both begin with C .
     
  4. drizler

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    Take a look on the side of a box that the stove comes in. Somewhere on the box it will be marked as to where it was made UNLESS it is made in the USA. Most mfgs still mark them but they don't have to if they make them here ( by law). It has to be prominently displayed in plain view of the ultimate consumer so its right on the side of the box. Co's like Vt castings will probably have something displaying that out of pride. One thing you may not know is that many of these US made companies just buy their parts from china and assemble the stuff here and can declare it made in the usa. Of course you aren't supposed to know about that...............................
     
  5. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy
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    I think there are percentages involved in buliding import parts into stoves. Im not shure what the percentages are. I can ALWAYS tell a chinese casting, and VC doenst look chinese.
     
  6. webbie

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    I'd be amazed if you can really tell a Chinese casting. So you could tell that most VC Grills were 100% made in China? Or many parts for Boeing Jets? Or all those beautiful mitre boxes with the polished castings?

    It is a fact that CFM corp. sources a LOT of material in China. Exactly what it is we may never know - but their own corporate reports have stated they are saving money by outsourcing.

    Both my iPod and my Powerbook are made in China, as well as that new 24" Dell Flat Screen I was using at the show. There is nothing in ANY of these products that is not completely world class.

    From the little I know about China, there are different kinds of factories there...for instance:
    1. There are world-class ISO rated factories that are often set up by Europeans and Japanese with all new imported machines (from Germany, for example). These factories usually also have engineers and QC people from partnerships in residence full time.
    2. There are Chinese owned and run small and large factories. These are often harder to get good quality from due to lack of proper communication, but if the volume is high enough they can often get things right.

    No doubt the VC foundry in VT makes some fine castings. But take the same exact (0r newer) Disamatic molding machine and the same foundry sand and you will have the same quality castings in China. Even many European "old line" stove makers are importing castings from China and they are virtually perfect.

    I think the last couple years have seen an improvement in Chinese made goods which will make them difficult to tell from goods manufactured anywhere in the world. Just like with Japan, what started out being a joke (made in japan used to be "cheapo") will become like Lexus!
     
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy
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    Yes, i have yet to see a chinese casted stove that i cant tell thats its chinese. Got a name of one that looks as good as europe or america? I cant speak for grills, i dont study them that hard. If vc is casting in china, i will gladly eat crow.
     
  8. Mike Wilson

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    I don't know, but I'd be willing to wager that they cast in China and assemble in Canada... why not. On the Chinese casting issue, I've seen Chinese made cast Sextants, and they are perfect, well within German standards of production. Basically, I think they are certainly capable of producing a higher quality product, its just a matter of how often they chose to set up a factory to do that.

    -- Mike
     
  9. webbie

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    Well, far be it from me to make you eat crow, so I'm not going to name names...but suffice it to say that some high premium brands in the hearth industry have parts or total assemblies made in China.

    You might recognize some of the designs at:
    http://www.nutec-castings.com/product1.htm

    Also, a lot of the fancy victorian looking fireplaces and grates - even the ones from England - come from China...

    The enameled stoves from nu-tec are virtually perfect - I think Heat N' Glo uses them, as well as Empire and some others.

    In Sundays paper (paraphrased)
    "Toyota is now building the Prius in only China and Japan, while Honda is building their newest models of Civic only a few months after they went on sale in Europe. Ford recently opened an advanced factory similar to their newest one in Germany and even that is not good enough for the Chinese managers who said "We want to learn from Germany and then IMPROVE on it".

    Honda, by the way, is building cars in China for export to Europe.

    It is definitely possible to make stoves here in the USA, especially those of steel. Cast stoves are more difficult, because founderies are hard to start in the USA, and the costs of labor are very high. American founderies tend to be very advanced, turning out millions of parts for car makers and such things. The smaller founderies are expensive per casting, making it very tough. For instance, grey iron castings go for about $1.50 a pound in relatively small stove quantity, so a 400 lb stove would be $600 in casting. Add the rest of the parts, assembly, design and then markup and you will see it is nearly impossible to be competitive.....in general, stoves retail for about 3-4x the manufactured cost.....when retail, wholesale and manufacturing markup are added.

    Manufacturing has always moved where the people are willing to work for less and the resources are available. Whether good or bad, much of the worlds manufacturing will be done in China for the next 30-60 years. We can't change this any more than we could change the movement of industry in this country from north to south and northeast to midwest....it's bigger than any of us.
     
  10. MountainStoveGuy

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    I agree that china has come a ways in castings, but there still along way from europe. The link you sent looks like a terria 1 or 2 from heat and glow, and there good castings, but still not as refined as a jotul. How bout the lennox T100? or the new earth stoves lennox is putting out? Lexington forge? To me, they all look chinese, but i definalty give you that the heat n glo products are one of the best. I dont think VC is casting in china. Mabey they are. I will call them tommorrow and find out. For the most part i have nothing aginst chinese castings, but i do have a problem with them being the same price retail as some belgium and norwegian castings. Lexington forge makes a gas stove, 20,000 btu's, it sits right next to a quad garnet. The garnet is less btu's and sells. There the same price with the same margin. There is some cheapness about it that you cant realy put your finger on. I shouldnt be so definitave and say i can tell ANY chinese casting, but i can tell most of them. If our industry is going that direction i hope they get it down. And crow taste ok everyonce in a while. Thanks Craig!
     
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg
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    Intrepid Resolute Encore and Defiant are all cast in Bethel Vt foundry. Some Dutch west are also made in Bethel VT. The cheaper centry line is imported from the Pacific basin To the best of my knowledge about 176 people work at the Bethel VT location and forge many, if not all of the parts of the formentioned line of stoves. MSG hit it accurately, sound like a guy that is either un informed or working you over with salesmanship telling partical truths.
     
  12. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero
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    I'll be honest, it does make a difference where it is made. I didn't like the cheap shot that the dealer made, but
    he did spend a minute talking about how CFM had bought out VC and since then . . .it seemed believable.

    It's a lot easier to stare at a product day in and day out knowing that you are helping the blue collar and not just
    adding a large profit margin to the U.S. company b/c they offshored ... and getting the Exec who offshored a
    fatter bonus

    It's all about having the ability to make informed choices, I'm interested to know the feedback after someone has
    contacted VC.

    p.s. the other dealer in the Akron area said that Jotuls were made in Sweden . . maybe these guys just don't
    care about this stuff . .
     
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy
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    Made in China is usally associated with sub par, Sweden i would think would be associated with quality. At least the Jotul dealer was close LOL. My point is im not shure the Jotul dealer was being malicious, but i do think the dealer that told you VC was made in china wanted to sell you his porduct. Those types of sales pratices are not alowed in my shop. We never trash the other lines that other dealers have nor do we ever trash the other dealers. (well except HD if you want to call them a dealer). If we have something bad to say we just tell the customer that we arent familiar with that line and to do some online research on hearth.com :D.
     
  14. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero
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    I went ahead and got my own reply from CFM, it is below, Happy St. Pats

    Hello Steve,



    Thank you for contacting CFM.



    NO our products are not manufactured in china, they are manufactured in Ontario Canada. There may be some small components made in china. But our products as a whole are made in Canada.



    Thank you,

    Denise
     
  15. webbie

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    Well, no doubt this is BS. They have a giant foundry, assembly plant and warehouses in VT - last time I heard that is NOT Canada.

    "Some small components".....again, they issued corporate statements detailing how they were saving money by outsourcing to Asia.

    I do think that most VC's and CDW (cast models) are made in VT. Most of their sheet metal fireplaces are made in Canada.

    I have no beef with them making anything anywhere, but how the heck can you release public "forward looking" statements and then deny them?

    And then to have a lackey who doesn't even know that VC is made in VT?

    "One of our most familiar brands is Vermont Castings™. CFM is the only North American manufacturer with both the foundry and enameling under one roof assuring that manufacturing is carefully coordinated for utmost quality. Our foundry is equipped with the industry's most sophisticated equipment controlling all aspects of the casting process. Our cast products offer beautiful detail and are developed by fine artisans who hand-carve each pattern."

    The above is speaking about Bethel VT foundry.
     
  16. webbie

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    The Vermont CastingsTM foundry in Randolph is the source of the world famous Vermont
    CastingsTM stove line as well as the makers of cast iron cooking surfaces for the high-end
    Vermont CastingsTM brand barbeque grill.

    CFM is the only major stove and grill manufacturer in North America with its own foundry. Huntington IN is the home of Majestic TM brand fireplaces.
    While CFM also manufacturers fireplaces at other facilities, Huntington is the home of the Majestic TM brand which was founded there early in the last century.

    --------------------------
    Above are quotes from Press Releases on the CFM site.
    Reading between the lines - Notice how it says "makers of cast iron cooking surfaces for the high-end
    Vermont CastingsTM brand barbeque grill." - This means the other parts of the grill are not made there.

    I'm not sure about everything else, but I do know part of the reason for their failing was the prices of stainless steel grills from China that they had promised to big box stores at low prices. When stainless steel prices went up, they were on the hook.

    ---------------------------

    Now that CFM has been somewhat cut down to size, they are claiming that they are the "New CFM", which folks can take to mean what they want to. Dealers hope that they will get some exclusivity and that VC will not chase mass mechants as much. Who knows? We'll see.....
     
  17. elkimmeg

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    These are facts, VC people at Bethel Vt offered to donate stoves to needy families threw hearth net. No other manufactured made such an offer. I own 2 VC wood stoves, burn them 24/7. Any issues I had with VC were addressed none involved stove preformance.
    I burn about 6 cords of wood per year for the past 30 years. I would not put up with cheap junk.. I am proud to say I have stoves manufactured in USA. I saved USA manufacturing jobs. When our Moderator, Mo Heat, had a problem with his VC Large winter warm. I made one phone call to Bethel VT and made arangements to have his replaced. Cost to Mo heat Nothing. Tell me one manufacturer where you have had that response. True, that VC quality went down under CFM. It is my personal belief, that VC and the people in Bethel are fighting for their jobs. There is little chance for quality control issues or it would be justification to outsource to China and close VC in VT down. Shane is a VC dealer he has seen the improvement since CFM was bought out by the Onterio Teachers pention plan. I think a concerted effort is being made to restore the quality in the VC name.

    I am burning two now as I type. VC Defiant is the cleannest most effecient wood stove ever tested by the EPA

    With that said, I can not recomend the winter warms. My personal feeling, too many cast parts comprise the front door gasket surfaces and leakage is problematic
     
  18. TCintheOzarks

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    Does anyone know where WoodStock Soapstone get there cast iron parts for their stoves?
     
  19. webbie

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    Over the years, in America and in Europe. I am familiar with the specific founderies and they are some of the best in the world and are in the business of making really high quality stove castings.

    In fact, the American foundry that Woodstock used back when is the same one VC used before they built their foundry!

    But, as I mentioned on the other hand, many old line european foundries are now importing castings from China.
     
  20. Todd

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    I asked that question when I bought mine. The cast iron is made in Belgium, and the soapstone is from Canada.
     
  21. bench70@comcast.net

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    The question to ask is what alloy are they using. The metallurgy is a very important part, along with the casting techniques. They can be melting down old engine blocks and scrap and the guns that the state police seized and getting all sorts of different chemicals in their pours. Even Vermont Castings has had that problem in their own foundry. Some in the state police crime lab told me this. They tried to save money, and all they created was a bunch of scrap parts. They were known for designing very thin castings, in large flat designs to save money, but they ended up being extremely difficult to cast. Foundries had to pour the metal very hot in order for it to fill the cavity and make a perfect part. We went to a warehouse in nearby Northfield, Vt. and saw bins and bins and bins of parts with little tiny imperfections with chalk marks around them. You would think they could just carefully grind these German parts and make them usable, but, no, they rejected them. They say VC was rejecting parts from all the best foundries in the Western World in the late 70's and had no choice but to build their own foundry because the foundries eventually would not do business with them. Warped parts were a huge problem for them. I guess they were charging enough for the stoves that they could afford to replace parts and still make money. So, yes, if parts are made in China and they use the best automated molding machines, test the metallurgy of the iron before pouring, maintain a constant high enough temp to get complete filling of the mold, and use very fine grit sand, they can produce quality parts. The bad reputation that any country or any foundry or any factory may have gotten is from not following the procedures that will allow quality parts to be produced. There are American foundries that produce junk parts. It's like anything else, you get what you pay for, and you should always get samples before you make a deal to buy thousands of tons of castings. We and many other stove producers learned over the years that the cheapest alloy or even good quality iron does not always make the best parts. We saw that parts exposed to the highest temps in the stove would benefit from adding chromium. Some parts failed, even those with thick sections. It does not even cost anything extra to do this. But that is assuming that you start with a good quality iron which is tested often during the production process. I heat with an Elm stove. www.vermontironstove.com
     
  22. BrotherBart

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    Can that door glass on the Elm still be replaced with a Pyrex pie plate?
     
  23. bench70@comcast.net

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    There are two pieces of glass in the door. the outer piece is a #209 Pyrex Pie plate. The inside piece is Pyroceram, a high temp ceramic stove window product. The pie plate alone will not stand up to the high temps, nor will it stand up to thermal shock like the Pyroceram.
     
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