16 years ago
In an ideal world I would have chosen good English quality machines and
tooling, but as another member of the "grey brigade" have settled for
for the "second cousin" option, bought "chinese" and prepared the
machines myself------thats a small lathe and mill/drill AND now the
larger lathe and mill!!!!!!!!! SO, I have bought the larger Chinese
clones----- Initially from Chester for the smaller,but not from, Warren
or Ketan for the larger items.
Firstly, the service; in terms of mind numbing inquires seeking
information, I have never had better service than I have from Ketan. I
have seen what he does to a machine in preparing it and from the
experience of now having "done" four machines I would get Ketan to
prepare my machines every time. End of that discussion for me!!!!!!! My
disquiet is not about the dealers in the Chinese machines but the
extensive numbers of the "good English" equipment in the hands of the
second hand dealers!! When trying to buy a mill and a lathe----WITH a
serious budget and a little bit of leeway--I tried to buy a second hand
"quality" machine, not one dealer had a "sharp pencil"!!!!!!! I was
totally surprised by their attitudes, choosing to sit on stock when in
the real world a retiree buying a machine truly understands that their
use of the machine is limited---time will ensure that these machines
will be back in the market place only all too soon; surely a "smart
dealer" would sell and provide a service in machine,tooling and
customer support that would see the machine back on his shelves for a
second time in due course!!!!
For my mind Ketan, et al, do not need abuse for meeting the demands of
a market place; how many of those "college" machines, bought in job
lots are sitting around with a mark up that the "Chinese dealers" would
like to obtain?
So for me it was a "non-decision", rather a very careful check of
realistic machining tolerances, the demands of materials, time, and
performance of the final product in the market place; hence spend a bit
more time setting up, work a little slower, buying the best tooling I
can afford, sharpening or replace cutters etc sooner rather than later
etc--- and buying "Chinese". Currently, I buy from a dealer who gives
"quality English service and assistance" remembering all the time that
it is in the "consumables" where the money goes.
On the question of upgrading to CNC it is a similar issue: ebay has no
"customer" support and is now full of the "dealers", matching bits and
pieces wastes time and is frustrating, and climbing through scrap metal
dealers off cut piles is an expedition; putting everything together is
a "Harry Potter" challenge!
I will still look for "sharp pencils", buy odd bits and pieces and buy
kits, again remembering that for me it is all a means to an end rather
than an end itself and that it is the "service" that really counts.