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SteveC
01-11-2003, 04:16 AM
What's the general opinion on the difference between Harbor Freight (Central Machine) and Grizzly.

Steve

Uncle Dunc
01-11-2003, 07:00 AM
I've done very little business with Grizzly, and none at all with Harbor Freight, so my opinion is based largely on what I've heard from others, and may be out of date as well. My opinion is that Grizzly is a serious machine tool company, although they are clearly not aiming to make the best tools money can buy. Harbor Freight is a scam. Their products are kits at best.

RPease
01-11-2003, 08:52 AM
Steve,

As strange as it may sound, if you want to get 10 "different" opinions on a subject, just wait until you get 10 people to comment..........

Grizzly may "sell" some good things and some bad things. The same will apply to Harbor Freight.

Opinions are generally worth "exactly" what one pays for them............

Regards........

StephenK
01-11-2003, 11:01 AM
I have dealt with both Harbor Freight and Grizzly. It all depends on what item you are purchasing. I had no problem with Harbor Freight when I had to return an item and also bought some junk from them. Grizzly is a reputable firm to deal with. If an item is on backorder you have a choice of waiting for it at which time you are not billed until it is shipped or reorder at a later date. I'm planning to order a few large items from Grizzly but will drive the 125 miles to pick them up. Shipping is about half as much as the item itself. Try either but be cautious.

Philt
01-11-2003, 11:15 AM
"Harbor Freight is a scam. Their products are kits at best. "

This sort of report, you will notice, is many times from people having no direct experience with a particular vendor or machine. It may be true, then again, it may not. It seems to be reinforced by anecdotal tales of woe that go something like this: " I bought a lathe (mill, tool, etc) from Enco, Harbor Freight, Grizzly...etc and it had this horrible defect or problem that is proof that everything that Enco, HF...etc makes is a POS. Don't ever buy anything from them or you will regret it." On the other hand you do get positive reports on such products or vendors, but, they never seem to have the same impact. No matter what you say that is positive it never seems to counterbalance the negative reports.

I own several pieces of equipment that have purchased from Harbor Freight which I am quite pleased with. I have also purchased equipment from Grizzly which has served me well. A friend and I were discussing the subject of HF just last night. We both own 12 x 36 HF lathes (33274 models). He made the point that a lot of the stuff in HF's stores is, well, pretty low quality, cheap stuff. However, the 12 x 36 model lathe we own is really a good deal and of a higher quality than much of what you see in their stores. For less than $2k we got a lathe and stand (with sales tax) THAT ARE NOT KITS. They arrived in good condition with everything pretty much adjusted properly and ready to be setup and run. They are accurate (mine shows less than .0002" taper in 5" on a test bar), run smoothly, and make chips without complaint. I would rate my lathe as being a remarkably good deal for a lathe of it's size and capacity.

I have also owned a Grizzly 3in1 machine. There was nothing really wrong with this machine other than the limitations of a 3in1. I learned a lot about machining, believe it or not, from that machine. I would rate Grizzly a good company to deal with. They respond quickly to problems or with help. They do charge for this indirectly in that their prices are a little higher than an outfit like HF. I chose to buy from HF knowing that they do not have that same level of service. You CAN get help from HF, but, it's not as fast or in some cases as knowledgeable. So far I have not required a great deal of assistance from Harbor Freight.

Unfortunately, Consumer Reports doesn't do much reporting of machine tools for the home shop machinist. Although there are the occassional reviews of machines in publications like HSM, there is rarely the type of head to head comparison that is done for cars, washing machines, etc. I understand why this is not feasible for such a small market. I just wish there was a better way to evaluate lathes than depending on the offhand comments of non-users.

Hellbender
01-11-2003, 11:49 AM
I have a bunch of both (both stores are only 5 min. apart), Grizzly seems to buy all the "better quality" (a relative term)Chinese stuff, Harbor Freight has a mixture, from the EXACT same part (painted green) to obvious lower quality.

I would never buy anything (imported)from HF without the chance to visually inspect it first (or the opportunity to return it at no/low cost). BUT, I have returned stuff to them many times (worn out blow hammers, cheap PVC airhose, a bad elec. motor, cheap batt. drill, etc., some way past warranty time)and they have ALWAYS given me a new one OR my $$ back (w/ reciept), no problems. I have no experience w/ the mail order side, only the retail store.

With Grizzly, I would not hesitate to order sight unseen, IF I expected a Chinese tool and not something that compares w/ the good quality stuff. It is STILL 1/3 the price of good stuff, and you get what you pay for. If it is the EXACT same part as HF, it is usually 25% higher than thiers, if it is on sale at HF, it is double price.
On returns, they charge a 10% restocking fee for refunds, no exceptions. They repair defective stuff, if it repairable, not replace it, also.

If you make a living with your tools, I wouldn't recco any of the import stuff, but I just use mine to prototype stuff, and most of it only gets used 4 or 5 times a month (or less), so it allows me to have tools I otherwise couldn't afford to have. All my tools that get much use, or would really screw something up if it broke down (welder, plasma cutter, air compressor, wrenches, sockets, etc.) I buy good stuff.

I also wouldn't recco ANY import cutting tools (drills, sawblades, etc,) they are junk.

My experiences, anyway, HTH.
HB

------------------
NRA Lifetime Member

Hellbender
01-11-2003, 12:01 PM
Philt--I have the Grizzly version of that lathe (12x36), and the HF is IDENTICAL except for the QC toolholder upgrade w/ the Grizzly, I made 5 trips to each store and compared them. I would have bought the HF except they were backordered for 2 months and weren't expecting any in the forseeable future (slow boat from China http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif).

HB



[This message has been edited by Hellbender (edited 01-11-2003).]

Alistair Hosie
01-11-2003, 04:34 PM
If I lived where you guys live I would like the oportunity to buy from these companies as they are very reasaonably priced.
But what I would like to know is there an element of snobbery with some tool purchases.I know some stuff which is cheap is junk but are we capable sometimes if not often of getting caught in the name trap when purchasing.Especially when its an item we won't use every day Alistair

cebump
01-11-2003, 08:40 PM
Philt

Concerning the consumer report, I have learned from my own industry that these guys could not find there behind with both hands. The ratings in every issue that pertains to my industry are so screwed up that I cannot believe it for any other product they rate. I hope I do not offend anyone by that, but if you do not know they charge a healthy fee for a mfg. to advertise as "a CR best buy". It seems like a scam to me. Call me cynical.
Brian

x39
01-11-2003, 11:10 PM
I bought one of the little 4x7 cut off saws from Harbor Freight back in 1987, and other than replacing a bearing on the driven wheel, have had no problems with it whatsoever. This thing has seen tons of use!

docsteve66
01-12-2003, 07:54 PM
Gents: remember the song about gambling? Every hands a winner, every hands a loser? I just the difference is the guy holding the cards and betting his money.

Same thing in my opinion with tools. I rather use a pocket knife blade to remove a screw than a fine screwdriver that is 30 miles away http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif. I suspect the cheapest 3 in 1 from Harbor freight in the hands of Forrest, John (stevenson or foster) can beat what I could so on a bridge port or Glidden lewis.
Around here (Fla) the people like Craftsmen, Snap on etc. they are good tools but they 99 % of the time are no better than the cheap junk for same jobs.

When working for NAvy where they rebulit airplanes and engines I was accosted by a mechanic who was working on a radial engine cylinder. He showed me the torque he had to reach with a crows foot wrench. The jaws spread. He wanted a snap on tool. I went to tool room, told them to gather all the crows foot wrenches of that size (plus other the men complained were not satifactroy) and with a toprque wrench, either meet the torques we needed or put em in a bag and deliver them to me with the torque they failed at listed, quickly. In came a bag of crow foot wrenches, very few had met "specs". Among those meeting specs were various brands. But among those not meeting specs were every well known brand going. So I wnet to material testing lab andreviewed the specs. Mil specs called for less torque than EVERY bad wrench had developed. I should have done this first!!!!! realy felt like a fool!!!. THen to supply and materials labs and weapons systems engineering for a revised spec to get good tools. then out for bids. Now you know where those 600 dollar hammers probably came from. The bids for "high quality " tools were outragous. Cheaper to do what I had done, buy a bunch, test and seperate into those that can do and can't do the job. ONE HELL OF A LOT CHEAPER!!!!!. In my opinion, alistair is right, there is a lot of pride in owning a known good tool. Men quiver with delight to hold and use certain brands, but they dont work betterthan a CAREFULLY selected off brand that has been tested and fits and feels well.

Just one mans opinion! Now fuss at me!!!
Steve

jfsmith
01-12-2003, 08:31 PM
Many of the items are made in the same factory, or were designed by the same group. Customer service is where it's at. I live ten minutes from the local HF store. The manager and the sales staff have been good to me. I seem to have problems with their drill sharpeners, they give me a new one every time. I do have a Drill Doc, but I save that for serious sharpening.

Many of the HF tools that I buy are on the basis that they are disposible. One company that I know buys all of there field folks HF tools, because they seem to loose them a lot.

Plus things like cable cutters, not many people know how to sharpen them, so buying a new set is generally much easier.

Jerry

Oso
01-12-2003, 09:55 PM
I have been in a Harbour Freight store several times (we have one), and used grizzly and Jet stuff, at least the older stuff.

Most of the smaller HF stuff like hand tools is about the same as Big Lots. Works, but is not the best, or even maybe average. Usable, though, good for the "lend the bro-in-law" box, at least.

The Air tools are variable, good and bad, as far as I know. Used a couple, were "ok".

If the more complex machines are like what is in our store, I would run. I wouldn't buy one, they looked badly assembled, and some had obvious problems.

I would consider one of their lifts, but I would derate it by 2x. There you can visually inspect most everything. You can discount the marketing crap about capacity easily.

I think the HF folks are basically just lacking in QC. You may get a goodie, maybe a POS, luck of the draw. Some problems, like bad calibrations on dials are fixable.

I don't think they know machines at all, they may buy leftovers or whatever nobody else buys. Just basically they don't know a goodie from a baddie, so its your nickel.

Grizzly has less of the "surplus store" approach, on average probably has better QC, and seems to at least try. Same for Jet. Probably they are the ones you should look at more seriously.

Everything I have seen or used of Grizzly's was credible, and worked ok. Same for Jet. The design of some things, like the 8 x 20 lathes is deficient compared to "real" machines, but that is out in the open , like threading range, lowest speed, etc.

At those prices you need not expect hand scraping and fitting, any more than you would have expected it on cheap American goods like Atlas or Logan.
If that sounds like I am lumping them together, you are correct. They are most similar to Atlas and Logan. Made to sell at a price. That isn't BAD, just a fact.



[This message has been edited by Oso (edited 01-12-2003).]

Thrud
01-12-2003, 11:27 PM
Steve, Alistair

I agree with you. Carefull selection is the key. Not all my tools are name brand, and some are from "china" but they do the job I ask of them for a price I am willing to pay - that is all that matters to me.

I do stick to certain brands because of quality in build and materials - i.e. I prefer makita 4-1/2" angle grinders because of features and the power switch.

wierdscience
01-13-2003, 11:42 PM
Hey I can tell you as with a lot of companies out there its all in the service(you know that thing you used to get but seldom ever do anymore)I have several things I have bought from both companies with Grizzly being my clear favorite.I bought a tablesaw from Grizzly and upon arrival the truck company had tipped it over and bent one of the hand crank shafts, called them up two days later I had a new shaft no problems. Another thing I noticed is that the grizzly machines I have all of them have s.a.e. fasteners and good manuals.Hf however is nearly impossible to get good service from.On any import tool though the quality is the same as it is here (depends on price range)if the tool is bottom of the line it is bottom of the line period.

[This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 01-13-2003).]

CompositeEngr
01-14-2003, 03:59 AM
RE: hand tool quality
I have a mixed bag of different wrenches, and very few have actually failed. Only wrench I can remember breaking was while standing on a 6' persuader on a rusted bolt.
I did get a batch of metric wrenches where every single one is off a 1/2 mm or more. 1/2 mm is workable until the torque gets pretty high, then they are worthless knuckle-busting nut-rounders. They cost about 1/6 as much as the Craftsman set with fewer wrenches, and about 1/2 the Pro-Mark wal-mart set, both of which actually fit. I'd also go so far as to say that I prefer the wal-mart set over the craftsman because the handles feel nicer (and shinier)

Paul Alciatore
01-16-2003, 02:53 AM
I've been to both Grizzly and HF stores and I'm definitely not impressed with HF. Their lathes and mills all seem to have problems like metric feedscrews with English scales or vice-versa and just general poor quality. Their people do not seem to know how to assemble the display machines.

On the other hand, Grizzly's stuff all looks solid. I bought their 3 in 1 Sheet Metal machine, 4X6 Band Saw, G1007 Mill-Drill, and a 10" Rotary Table. All four items have proven very serviceable for the type of work I do. The only funny thing among the three is the metric downfeed on the G1007 which is marked in thousanths (25mm =? 1"). This produces an error of 16 thousanths per inch of travel. This is a well known pecularity and I believe it exists on all the popular Chinese imports. I guess it would be more expensive to produce a new downfeed mechanism than changing to English leadscrews. A simple translation table solved this problem.

I would recommend Grizzly to anyone who does not need top-of-the-line quality. You stand a very good chance of getting a satisfactory tool from them without actually seeing it. On the other hand, I would strongly recommend that any HF tools be visually inspected before buying.

Jaymo
01-16-2003, 03:01 AM
Crowfoot wrenches are not intended for torquing. In fact, open end wrenches, period, are not for torquing. Torque adapters are made specifically for that purpose. They look like, for lack of a better descriptive, box end crowfoot wrenches. They're calibrated for torque wrench use. Then again, the military has a horrible habit of using the wrong tool for the job. Heard the same accounts of the military letting complete idiots turn wrenches, and the stupid things they do, from a LOT of ex military mechanics, friends family, co-workers, and tech school instructors. Of course, there are those times when you have to do something the wrong way with the wrong tool because the a$$hole engineers never consider the fact that it will need maintenance and repairs in the future, when they design it.

docsteve66
01-16-2003, 08:25 PM
Jaymo: If you ever look at the way the jugs on some radial enginges are "affixed" you would see that ONLY a crow foot can get into the place. The nuts will not slide on to the bolts unless the jug is lifted a little. So a crows foot is called for, a crows foot is used. They have so little movement that the wrench is flipped to get enough movement to turn the nut a single flat.

So far as the engineering goes, the engines came home (so I am told) with missing cylinders where a shell and holed them, things flopping around in the wind, and if the oil held out the engines made it home (with crew dead or alive). If it did as well as the reputation says, the engineer did well and its not too much to ask that a crows foot wrench be applied.
Maybe the problems should have been caught in design.

If corrected today, Probably would have made a scandel sheet where some one spent 100,00o dollars to redesign a 50 year old engine to avoid using a crows foot wrench.

If you note in full what happened, the problem was solved at little cost (just some time) by selecting wrenches that would do that particular job and getting them to the men doing that job. A new MIL Spec would have cost thousands of dollars, taken at least a year or more, added a new class of wrenches, cost the taxpayer lots of money.

THe big problem with the military and the "complete idiots" isthat they take young men and try to make mechanics of them. Those "idiots" have since time long past have won wars. If you have not walked the path and lived the life, you have little knowledge of the problems- and its easy to propose solutions. In my world, men bear scars and lost lives keeping stuff going becaasue thats what they had to work with.

wierdscience
01-16-2003, 10:33 PM
The difference between American,English and German fighter engines in WW II I have been told is that the German engine went back to the factory for an overhaul,the English required techs.And the American was overhauled in the field,in the rain, in the mud and in the dirt by a G.I.with a rag and a wrench! One small reason Our Fathers and Grandfathers won the day!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

R S Nelson
02-12-2003, 12:34 AM
While this subject has been pretty thoroughly covered, I have purchased materials from Harbor Freight, Grizzly, Enco and MSC. Most recently I agonized between buying a surface grinder from HF or Grizzly. I new from having visited the Grizzly showroom that their machinery had a really nice finish and good customer service, but the HF grinder was about one third less money, especially if I made my own base. I finally bought the HF grinder, but the manual was atrocious, so I order Grizzly's manual. It turned out to be identical! Obviously both grinders came from the same plant. My grinder has worked beautifully and does perfect work.
Much of the material I have gotten from Harbor Freight is rough but serviceable. Only a couple of items just didn't work. Grizzly seems to supply better finished equipment.

wmgeorge
02-12-2003, 08:46 PM
So how does the HF surface grinder work as far as finish and ease of use? I'm looking at purchasing a used surface grinder off eBay, but I need to drive about 6 hours one way to pick up...

George Hodge
02-12-2003, 09:03 PM
Stopped at both Grizzly and Harbor Frieght last week. HF was busy! Noticed one of the employees assembling a stand.Also saw he was using a Dewalt cordless drill.Asked him why he wasn't using one of the imports and he said it wouldn't tighten up on the drill bit worth crap. Also,all the American tools were locked up inside cases. 99% of the tools and stuff is from China,almost like Wallyworld. I did buy a small butane torch,$9.95,on sale. No butane sold there. Had to dissassemble the torch to load it with fuel,It works good so far,but it looks short lived.

[This message has been edited by George Hodge (edited 02-12-2003).]

JCHannum
02-12-2003, 09:27 PM
wmgeorge, you may want to look at Fred Farkle's comments on Harbor Freight surface grinder under Homemade Surface Grinder topic a couple of days ago. Six hour drive might not be too bad after all.

GM69camaro
02-12-2003, 10:41 PM
I have a Harbor Freight 7 x 10 minilathe that was OK at best when I got it. There was a lot of slop in the carriage and all the gibs were loose. Since then I have lapped the ways and all the gibs and now it is a very nice machine. I can make a .002" cut where before I was lucky to get a .005" cut without something moving (slop). I made several other improvement mods to the machine and now I like it so much I could never part with it.
My guess is that all the Chinese minilathes are about the same.

Gordon

Jaymo
02-13-2003, 02:08 AM
Docsteve, don't get your undies in such a bunch. Apparently, you didn't read my post very well before replying. Most of my friends are ex military mechanics. Many of my family members are. I didn't say that all of them were idiots. But the truth is that the military tries to make mechanics out of a lot of guys who have no business turning wrenches for pay. Of all the military mechanics I've known, all the best ones were those who already had some prior mechanical experience, or at least interest, before enlisting.
Yes, I have worked on radial engines, and I know that about which you speak. Hell, my uncle was a career mechanic in the USAF. He retired a few years ago. He witnessed a lot of stupid s#*t being done. Besides, some of the stupidest "mechanics" I've ever worked with were ex military. As have some of the best. The difference is that the really good ones were all from the Viet Nam generation and before. The military has dropped the standards drastically in the past 30 years. The price of being PC and tolerant. The military is now much more of an equal opportunity employer than it used to be. You can't expect much when you're required to required to take in those who aren't even suited to selling fast food.
The fact remains that crowfoot wrenches are designed with the intent that they never be used for torquing. Any open end wrench will spread jaws and slip when any appreciable amount of torque is applied. being open ended as they are leaves them substansially weaker than their boxed end counterparts. Once again, the engineers design components without considering the poor bastards who have to keep them running. The shame of it is that the military has thrown away tons of perfectly good Snap Off tools. At one base, which was being closed, my uncle witnessed Snap Off roll arounds and top chests full of Snap Off tools being unceremoniously dumped into trenches dug with a backhoe, as opposed to actually havint to moce them to another base and store them until they are needed, or selling them as surplus. But that's one of the problems with the way government budgets work. I know how those jugs are. They're a PITA. However, I do recall us using special wrenches designed just for that job. They had 2 90% angles bent into them. One end was the handle, the other had the head, which was a thinwalled box. Even those were a PITA. A whole lot of being a mechanic whether it's aircraft, autos, forklifts, tractors, trailers, heavy equipment, pallet jacks(yes, I've worked on all of them in my career-kept trying different things until I found something I really enjoyed) is trying to make the best out of a clusterf**k, and do it correctly and in a timely manner. When you're a high school hotrodder with an itch to be a mechanic, you think it's always as much fun as working on your own ride. Then you go to work fixing other people's pieces of sh*t. There goes the novelty of being a mechanic. But if you really have the love for it, you keep plugging and find a field where you don't dread going to work everyday, and most days, look forward to it. I can't really think of anything I'd rather do. Except maybe gunsmithing, or running my own foundry.
Also, I wasn't referring to the durability of the engines, or their ability to take abuse. I was referring to the fact that engineers design things without even considering the possibility that they may need maintenance/repairs sometime in the future. They seem to think that once it's assembled and installed, it'll never need to be removed or disassembled. So before you break my balls over my statement that the military has a bunch of idiots turning the wrenches, you should work with some of these idiots. And remember, I never stated, nor implied, that all military mechanics were idiots. Just that there are a bunch of them. Just like the fact that some of the dumbest auto mechanics are ASE certified. Not that all ASE certified mechanics are dumb, far from it. Just that a lot of them are.
Anyway, I'm just calling a spade a spade. I'm certainly not trying to offend any of the fine people here, least of all those who've turned wrenches for Uncle Sam.
Hey, I just noticed that this reply rambles and meanders to the point of almost making no sense at all. Hell, that qualifies me for a job as a top paid journalist with any of the mainstream media. Hot damn, I'm changing careers.

dbasberg
02-13-2003, 09:03 AM
A good person will do the best work they can and will learn to do better all the time. BUT, everywhere, there are those that do not have a work ethic or the inclination to learn. My friend retired from the Air Force five years ago. He was the top enlisted man in charge of all flight mechanics at an Air Base. He said he was retiring just in time. The grade of replacement mechanics he was getting often could not read better than the third grade. The military training manuals are starting to use cartoons and pictures to replace words to reach more people of this disadvantage background. I know that I am really doing thorough preflights before I go up. He sorted his staff to guarantee the best service he could. Some sorted bolts. He was running out of people that could do a major engine repair. I guess every generation since the cave men have though the 'youngsters' were going to hell in a handbasket...why should I buck the tradition http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jaymo:
Docsteve, don't get your undies in such a bunch. Apparently, you didn't read my post very well before replying. Most of my friends are ex military mechanics. Many of my family members are. I didn't say that all of them were idiots. But the truth is that the military tries to make mechanics out of a lot of guys who have no business turning wrenches for pay. Of all the military mechanics I've known, all the best ones were those who already had some prior mechanical experience, or at least interest, before enlisting.
Yes, I have worked on radial engines, and I know that about which you speak. Hell, my uncle was a career mechanic in the USAF. He retired a few years ago. He witnessed a lot of stupid s#*t being done. Besides, some of the stupidest "mechanics" I've ever worked with were ex military. As have some of the best. The difference is that the really good ones were all from the Viet Nam generation and before. The military has dropped the standards drastically in the past 30 years. The price of being PC and tolerant. The military is now much more of an equal opportunity employer than it used to be. You can't expect much when you're required to required to take in those who aren't even suited to selling fast food.
The fact remains that crowfoot wrenches are designed with the intent that they never be used for torquing. Any open end wrench will spread jaws and slip when any appreciable amount of torque is applied. being open ended as they are leaves them substansially weaker than their boxed end counterparts. Once again, the engineers design components without considering the poor bastards who have to keep them running. The shame of it is that the military has thrown away tons of perfectly good Snap Off tools. At one base, which was being closed, my uncle witnessed Snap Off roll arounds and top chests full of Snap Off tools being unceremoniously dumped into trenches dug with a backhoe, as opposed to actually havint to moce them to another base and store them until they are needed, or selling them as surplus. But that's one of the problems with the way government budgets work. I know how those jugs are. They're a PITA. However, I do recall us using special wrenches designed just for that job. They had 2 90% angles bent into them. One end was the handle, the other had the head, which was a thinwalled box. Even those were a PITA. A whole lot of being a mechanic whether it's aircraft, autos, forklifts, tractors, trailers, heavy equipment, pallet jacks(yes, I've worked on all of them in my career-kept trying different things until I found something I really enjoyed) is trying to make the best out of a clusterf**k, and do it correctly and in a timely manner. When you're a high school hotrodder with an itch to be a mechanic, you think it's always as much fun as working on your own ride. Then you go to work fixing other people's pieces of sh*t. There goes the novelty of being a mechanic. But if you really have the love for it, you keep plugging and find a field where you don't dread going to work everyday, and most days, look forward to it. I can't really think of anything I'd rather do. Except maybe gunsmithing, or running my own foundry.
Also, I wasn't referring to the durability of the engines, or their ability to take abuse. I was referring to the fact that engineers design things without even considering the possibility that they may need maintenance/repairs sometime in the future. They seem to think that once it's assembled and installed, it'll never need to be removed or disassembled. So before you break my balls over my statement that the military has a bunch of idiots turning the wrenches, you should work with some of these idiots. And remember, I never stated, nor implied, that all military mechanics were idiots. Just that there are a bunch of them. Just like the fact that some of the dumbest auto mechanics are ASE certified. Not that all ASE certified mechanics are dumb, far from it. Just that a lot of them are.
Anyway, I'm just calling a spade a spade. I'm certainly not trying to offend any of the fine people here, least of all those who've turned wrenches for Uncle Sam.
Hey, I just noticed that this reply rambles and meanders to the point of almost making no sense at all. Hell, that qualifies me for a job as a top paid journalist with any of the mainstream media. Hot damn, I'm changing careers. </font>

lynnl
02-13-2003, 12:00 PM
C'mon, whadya expect of an "all volunteer" force ...in a society where success is defined in monetary terms. In general, the best/brightest are going to migrate to the plush, lucrative careers that don't involve thankless hours on a -40 degree flightline in Minot ND, or deployments into hostilities that may be more motivated by govermental political ambitions than by true national interest... nor service to a government that, with the stroke of its bureaucratic pen decides that there's no need to keep its promises made to its veterans who placed their lives on the line and went in harms way.

I retired (AF) in 1987, and don't know firsthand how much the quality of personnel has changed, but frankly doubt that it has been very much. Considering the size of the military, obviously some 'square pegs' will be assigned to 'round holes', but in general I think a damn fine job is being done, and given its situation, the USAF is the best training organization (for its size and needs) in the world.

docsteve66
02-13-2003, 04:03 PM
Jaymo: any reference to idiots etc in my post were quotes from your post. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif get on one side or the other and defend your position. You have same problem as general Custer- you see indians every where!

The use of the crow foot was done by a man olderthan I was at the time. The incedent probaly took place in mid 1970's. The engine under discussion was made for WW11, in use during Korea and VietNam.

So far as military fitness goes, I only spent 6 years in Corps, a few months of that in combat (that means being shot at , not in therear with the gear and beer), and 12 years in combat zones, also beingshot at every so often, I did advanced surveys for "Game Warden, Market time, Chu Lai) before the US miltiary could get into those places. I worked with Maag groups under fire, in communications centers where holes were being punched, as I watched, in equipment. Along side me, in most cases, were kids- mostly just recent high school grad's. Some used dope, but like the sateside folks claimed, they were given jobs to do and no tools to do them with. Taught how to do the jobs with the state ofthe art equipment, drafted (kicking and screaming) to go where most nevera wanted to go. They wedged screw drivers be side wrenches to make the wrnech fit, rope to improvise strap wrenches, jeeps loaded to give traction to pull loads suited for 6X6's. The problem in the USA then now and next week, is leadship and BULL artists. People who "know" how things shouldbe done- and have not had to solvethe problems wiuth the tools at hand. THey usualy did it in less time than they would have used had the proper tools been on hand.

Please note that I tell what I saw and did. No My uncle or the guy on the toilet next to the guy who heard crap!!!.

Now go back and read what I said- not what you say I said
Steve