There's a new machinery dealer in town: Woodwork Machinery...Plus
Above: Bill Spencer in the recently opened Woodwork Machinery…Plus showroom.
Words and photos: Linda Nathan, Wood Review editor
Judging by the neat-as-a-pin and fully stocked setup you wouldn’t suspect that it was only seven months ago that brothers Bill and Bruce Spencer opened a brand new machinery outlet for woodworkers.
Woodwork Machinery…Plus is based in Brisbane and its showrooms house a curated range of machinery and equipment geared towards outfitting the home workshop.
Not only tidy, it’s a lean and mean setup with customer satisfaction sitting at the top of the retail tree. ‘Our policy is: “One to show and one to go”, explained Bruce Spencer explaining how orders are promptly filled.
Recently I visited the Darra store and asked Bill Spencer a few questions about the new setup.
LN: So Bill, you’ve opened up a brand new outlet, Woodwork Machinery…Plus. What’s it all about?
BS: Well Linda, what happened is that I had spent a few years at another business and decided it was opportune to go out on my own. I met Tony Mirabile from Beyond Tools in WA at last year’s Brisbane’s Working With Wood Show. While chatting he said he was looking for a dealer in Brisbane. I went home and talked to my brother and said, ‘Why don’t we do it?’…and we opened the business about a month and a half later.
LN: So what’s the thrust of your business. I know it’s all about machinery, but who do you see as your market and what are you aiming to provide it with?
BS: Both my brother Bruce and I are woodworkers and our aim was to be able to talk to woodworkers about products we know. So our main target is the do-it-yourself woodworker at home and men’s sheds. Over time we’ll grow into the schools market but we mostly spend all our days talking to people just like us who want to work with wood.
LN: It doesn’t look like you’re aiming to create a one-stop shop for woodworkers…
BS: …no, because the myriad of products out there is mind-blowing. There are lots of companies selling every little screw and nut and hand tool, but we said no, let’s stick with a medium to upper level quality range of machinery. Instead of the industrial side we’re more for the home hobbyist with affordable smaller machines as opposed to industrial.
LN: You seem to have pretty big range though, even smaller CNC and you’ve got trade quality brands like Virutex.
BS: One of the advantages of our relationship with Beyond Tools is that we can source any of their products and they’ve been in the industry for 34 years, supplying hobbyists right up to the big commercial guys. We just supplied a 25" thicknesser to Downlands College in Toowoomba. We drew on Beyond Tools stock and shipped it straight up there.
LN: So what are the main brands you’re offering?
BS: The primary brands are Rikon, Woodfast and Record Power. We have a smattering of lasers, CNCs (Red Sail) and also a generic range called Oltre.
LN: What’s the relationship between Rikon and Woodfast?
BS: They are brothers-in-arms. The products come out of the same factories but Woodfast has now been relaunched in the Australian market and long-term will continue to grow their range with innovations, new lathes and bandsaws. The aim is to reestablish Woodfast as a middle to premium product range.
The next evolution will be to redesign some of the products, for example, one of the new lathes will go to an AC inverted motor. They’re bringing some of the big lathe technology into the smaller lathes. QCR bought Woodfast some 14 years ago and the philosophy now is ‘bigger, stronger, tougher’. The aim is to evolve the range over time to be class leading. QCR is mammoth manufacturer. They make all the Rikon gear that is sold in America and elsewhere and Rikon has the no.1 selling bandsaw.
LN: And Woodwork Machinery…Plus will be at the new Timber Tools Artisan show in Brisbane in a couple of weeks’ time?
BS: Yes, we’re only seven months old and this is our first show. We’re very excited to be a major exhibitor at the show. We’ll be promoting and demonstrating the Woodfast sawmill, the Rikon 14” professional bandsaw, the Record Power Herald lathe as well as turning tools, and all our machinery will be on special at the show as well.
LN: Well that’s worth heading along for! Good to talk Bill, and wishing you all the best with your new business.
Woodwork Machinery…Plus is located at Unit 8/43 Station Avenue, Darra Qld 4076. Phone 07 3705 8558, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more at www.woodworkmachinery.com.au
Timber Tools Artisan takes place in Brisbane from March 22–24, learn more here