Edward J. Bennett Company
   

Industrial machinery alignment

TS-Aligner

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Philosophy

These are the principles which guide my business and the design of my products.  Let me know if you have any questions.

On Woodworking Nobody can work wood to unreasonable tolerances and I certainly don't advocate trying to do so.  The goal here is to set up or adjust your machines so that they do exactly what you want.  The idea is to eliminate the need for test cuts or other "trial and error" techniques.  If you are frustrated by tedious "trial and error", then you're in the right place.  If you like doing test cuts and gain a sense of satisfaction or purpose from spending hours on a machine setup or alignment, then you will not be happy with my products. 
On Accuracy There is great benefit to being able to set up your machines more accurately than the material (wood) can be machined.  Accurate machine adjustment and alignment leads to greater confidence and speed. There's no longer a question or doubt about what will happen.  The machine does exactly what you tell it to do.  Inaccuracy always leads to low speed and frustration.  You can never tell exactly what is wrong.  Parts don't fit right but you don't know where the problem lies. You make changes and adjustments hoping that you get closer to what you want but you can't be sure if it's your technique, machinery, or measurement device.
On Quality Always surpass the needs of the application but don't go crazy.  I don't believe in embellishing my products with useless features or expensive decoration.  What you get from me is the best possible solution in a practical "no nonsense" form.  When I offer optional components (like dial indicators), you can be sure that none of them are going to be a bad choice. 
On Pricing For those items that I make in my own shop which have no equal anywhere else, I strive for the lowest possible production cost without any compromise in quality or accuracy.  For the items that I resell, I know that my price is not always competitive with larger suppliers.  I just can't afford to place such large orders or maintain such huge inventories.  I am happy to be the "one stop" source for all your precision woodworking needs but will be glad to point you to lower cost suppliers if cost is an issue.  Just ask!
On Design Design arises from need.  Need comes from active participation.  I'm not just standing on the sidelines looking for the next whiz-bang thingamajig product to make money with.  My products all arose from problems that I needed to solve in my own woodshop.  And, since I'm willing to admit that I don't know everything, I also consult with users and potential customers to make sure their needs are met too.

Design must be tempered by principles.  Designs which violate well established principles don't perform as advertised.  My products all conform to solid metrological principles which have been used in industry and machine shops for more than a century.  You can be sure that they work.

Finally, design must include capabilities which the average woodworker cannot accomplish on their own.  If you can already do everything that my product offers, then it doesn't make any sense for you to buy it.  So many of the alignment products on the market today are nothing more than a dial indicator on a fancy (and expensive) stick.  Maybe they toss in a crude linear scale or protractor but everything they do is easily accomplished by the average woodworker in a modest woodshop.  I strive to offer products which bring accuracy and capabilities to the woodshop that cannot be accomplished with ordinary woodworking tools and skills.

On Reputation My reputation for quality, value, honesty, integrity, expertise, and service is the most important asset my business has.  It has taken a colossal amount of work to build but is extremely fragile.  It doesn't take much more than a couple of careless comments or a few frivolous jokes to cause it damage.  So, I am very quick to defend my reputation vigorously when I think it is being besmirched.  There are plenty of examples of this in the rec.woodworking discussion group.  Because a damaged reputation often has little or no credibility, this defense often takes the form of questioning the honesty, integrity, expertise, and motive of the offender.  It is never pleasant or pretty.  But, I feel that it's necessary.  Unlike multi-million dollar companies and dealers that represent famous brands with longstanding established reputations, I can easily lose my entire business  from a few careless, thoughtless, comments by someone looking for attention.  If you are tempted to make fun of me, my customers, or my products - or feel you are up to challenging my knowledge and expertise in a public forum, then don't be surprised when I take swift and decisive action.
Personal Attention I still answer the phone and reply to all email messages.  I spend lots of hours in front of machines making parts.  I assemble and calibrate my products.  I personally train, assist, and coach everyone who works for me.  The products which I sell bear my name.  Their quality and reputation mean everything to me.  They are my entire livelihood.  If I get out of touch with my customers, vendors, employees, and products, then I put my livelihood at risk.
Satisfaction Guarantee It's always good business to have happy customers.  Happy customers generate more business than all the advertising in the world.  I only want happy customers.  If you don't find one of my products useful or valuable, then the worst possible thing I could do is make you keep it.  I don't want unhappy customers.  If one of my products makes you unhappy, then I don't want you to end up getting stuck with it.  That places a great responsibility on me to ensure that my customers choose my products because they are the best possible choice.  So, I must do my best to provide all the information needed to make the right purchase decision.  That's why my web site is packed full of detailed documentation.  Since the TS-Aligner introduction in 1991, only five customers have asked for (and received) a full refund.

Some might think this makes me an easy mark.  I say that they should think again.  I've noticed that some people like to "manufacture" issues of dissatisfaction so that they can obtain "freebies", or "consolations" for their "inconvenience".   If I do something wrong that causes you trouble, I'll do whatever I can to make it right.  If there is something I can do to optimize my product in your application then I'll do whatever I can to make it happen.  But, I won't be the victim of what I call "retail terrorism".  I won't pay a ransom (freebie)  to save the hostage (the sale of my product).  I'll sacrifice the hostage (buy back the product) and eliminate the unhappy customer. 

Solutions not Sales I do not compromise metrological principles to make products which appeal to the mass market.  I don't have time to bother with some of the nonsense which appears in many of today's woodworking catalogs.  And, you really don't have the money to waste on such useless products.  So, you won't see me selling high priced plastic widgets as "precision" alignment tools.  And, don't be surprised if I reply to an inquiry about a competitive thingamajig  with a dissertation on the metrological principles which render it completely useless.  A friend of mine has a saying: "Buy the best and cry only once."  I strive to offer the best possible solutions. 

In 1991, when I introduced the first commercially made alignment tool for woodworkers (TS-Aligner), there was very little said to woodworkers about dial indicators.  Today it seems that anybody with $15 can buy a dial indicator and suddenly become an "expert" in machinery alignment and adjustment.  Their half baked ideas have been showing up lately in books, magazine articles, and various products.  I didn't just jump on this bandwagon yesterday hoping to make a fast buck.  You'll find everything I advocate to be solidly grounded in the best practices which have been employed in machine shops and metrology labs for more than a hundred years.  I didn't just make this stuff up after having goofed around with a dial indicator for a couple of weeks.

On Perceptions The best products don't always win in the marketplace.  The winners are those who can make people think that they are the best choice.  So, instead of spending huge amounts on junk mail and magazine advertising, I strive to provide the information that people need to make a wise choice.  Most of my "advertising" happens by "word of mouth", in demonstrations, or  by authors in a machinery review articles (watch those pictures!).  You may see other products in paid advertising more often, and their advertising dollars might earn them favorable  treatment by magazine editors, but when someone really needs accurate machinery alignment and adjustment, they turn to the TS-Aligner products. 
On Privacy I do not use SPAM.  I do not work with companies who use SPAM.  I do not use telemarketing.  I do not work with companies who use telemarketing.  I consider both of these practices to be disgusting.  I do not disclose information about my customers to anybody.  I do not share or sell email addresses, phone numbers, names, addresses, or any other information.  I do not collect information about people who send me email or visit my web site.  I do not leave cookies on their computers.  I take very serious precautions to avoid the theft of my customer's sensitive information. 
Last revised: October 24, 2007.
    Copyright 2005 Edward J. Bennett Company All rights reserved.