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Alistair Hosie
01-04-2008, 04:26 AM
whay cant we get more good quality made in the U S A stuff here in the U K it seems very difficult unless you either pay way over U S prices or send off to the states and have shipping,import taxes etc added I wish we could get a lot more here or even some USA stores as I have been to the states many times and have always found the quality very good.

ptjw7uk
01-04-2008, 04:47 AM
I second that - we here over the pond end up paying the exchange rate difference in postage charges in that the carriage is sometimes many times the article cost similar from the far east have much lower carriage charges.
Peter

J Tiers
01-04-2008, 08:13 AM
It's a conspiracy.

Here, one can often (I might say "usually", or even "always") get a complete "functioning" item from the "far east" for a substantially lower price less than the local cost of the mere raw materials it is composed of. The cost of labor "over there" to convert the materials into a product appears to reduce the price, not increase it.

This is, no doubt, substantially due to the artificial "pegging" of the major far east currency to the dollar, so that items made there are ALWAYS lower cost, regardless.

As for a "quality US made item", they are not obtainable in the US either.

Everything here is either already made in china, OR the US makers have cut every corner and reduced quality to the lowest. This is because they know their price must be low, and they know the product need not be any better than the chinese crap it competes with. All it needs is a fairly competitive price and a 'made in USA" label.

Alistair Hosie
01-04-2008, 12:10 PM
It's a pity because made in USA is far superior to these imports but I would even like a harbour freight here or any other supplier.Alistair

BobWarfield
01-04-2008, 12:33 PM
Aaachhh, laddies! Ya dewnt knew how good you've got it! Quit with yer whinin like old women!

First, the good ole US of A is a very big place. The rust belt fellas have access to great machines at bargains, but a lot of other very urban locales do not. I live in Northern California and religiously watch for machines. If I want to buy a cast off 7-10 year old VMC for a bargain price of $27,000 versus the nearly $100K new cost, I'm in the right spot. If I want a great old manual machine, I'd be better off in the rust belt.

Second, look at all the great stuff in the good ole EU you've got to choose from:

- Deckel is one that everyone has heard of.
- Schaublin, those wonderful jewels that make a Hardinge or Monarch start to look plain and old fashioned.
- What of an original Swiss-made Aciera mill? Wouldn't that make an awesome CNC conversion, as wood a smaller Fehlman jig borer.
- You like SouthBend? Why, when you could have a Colchester?
- Even better, I've seen oh so few Emco lathes in larger sizes. What beauties these are, and much more recent than a lot of the old American Iron. Alas, most Emcos here are tiny.
- ESAB makes fantastic welders and plasma cutters. I lucked into a used ESAB plasma of industrial size, but these are also far less common here, and cheaper than the Millers.
- Gack?!?? Who knew the Germans had a modern shaper. Why lust after small Atlas or other worn out shapers if you could have such a thing.

I could go on, but mind you, I'm an admirer from afar so I don't know a fraction of your stuff, but what I see tells me I should in no way feel advantaged. I'll end with the homely Myford lathes. To read the various HSM treatises out there you would think it nearly impossible to take up the hobby without owning a Myford at some point. Yet I hardly ever see one here.

Don't even get me started on how far machines have to be shipped here either. It's ridiculous to send one across the whole North American continent if you can't get what you want locally.

Sorry fellas, no sympathy for the devil.

Cheers!

BW

Alistair Hosie
01-04-2008, 12:36 PM
happy new year Devil:D USA products cost us twice the price and more when we get them so please sirr reconsider and feel sorry for us once again your homble servant the little devil:DAlistair

Carld
01-04-2008, 12:36 PM
Aren't the German, Russian, Polish, etc. products better than Asian? Are they hard to get in England?

GrahamC
01-04-2008, 12:44 PM
Interestingly here in Canada we can often get "made in the USA" or "made (in India, Micronesia, Albania etc)" but I don't ever recall ever seeing anything "made in Canada".

I often will purchase bits from UK suppliers as I just can't get some items here and often times with the cost of shipping they are actually cheaper and arrive quicker than purchasing from a US supplier. The cost of postage from the US has skyrocketed lately no doubt because of the "safe border" or whatever they refer to the extra security measures now in place and time wise small parcels often take 4 or 5 weeks from the US. A similar size parcel from the UK will often arrive within 7 days and at 1/4 the shipping cost.

Nothing is always as simple as it seems.

cheers, Graham

jkeyser14
01-04-2008, 01:01 PM
It's a pity because made in USA is far superior to these imports but I would even like a harbour freight here or any other supplier.Alistair

Honestly, you probably wouldn't. 90% of it is junk (my opinion) and the majority of the other 10% isn't worth the 45 minute drive (in my case) to save a few extra dollars.

BobWarfield
01-04-2008, 02:12 PM
Interestingly here in Canada we can often get "made in the USA" or "made (in India, Micronesia, Albania etc)" but I don't ever recall ever seeing anything "made in Canada".

cheers, Graham

Standard Modern Lathes: made in Canada. Supposed to be quite good, FWIW.

Cheers,

BW

IOWOLF
01-04-2008, 02:25 PM
Thank you for the Complement,I guess no one else Caught it.

Jay

tony ennis
01-04-2008, 03:05 PM
I wasn't aware the US manufactured anything except for lawyers anymore.

macona
01-04-2008, 06:08 PM
Schaublin may be nice, but the styling of an EE or HLV cant be beat. Schaublin is a box compared to those. Even laypeople think my EE is beautiful and they dont even know what it is.

Most of the Esabs in the US, especially the larger machines are all USA designed and manufactured. Many are just repainted Ltecs. Only a couple smaller migs, tigs, and plasmas are made in Europe and they are all crap.

As far as Colchester goes, have you seen the prices of parts??? At $1000 for a handle and $750 for a cross slide nut you could buy several SBs.

There are still a LOT of good products coming out from every part of the US, just your not going to find them at Walmart.

BobWarfield
01-04-2008, 07:04 PM
Macona, I beg your pardon, I mispoke. It was Rivett I meant to compare aesthetically, not Schaublin. I do love a Monarch or Hardinge, but I think the Rivetts hold their own for good looks as well:

http://www.thewarfields.com/cnccookbook/img/OthersProjects/RivetLathemvc-013f.jpg

http://www.thewarfields.com/cnccookbook/img/OthersProjects/RivettLathemvc-011f.jpg

I'm glad to hear that ESAB is made in the USA. I sure do like my Powercut 1500 plasma cutter.

There are great machines made in the USA, but there are also very nice machines made in Europe that are hard to get here.

Cheers,

BW

lazlo
01-04-2008, 07:17 PM
Schaublin may be nice, but the styling of an EE or HLV cant be beat. Schaublin is a box compared to those. Even laypeople think my EE is beautiful and they dont even know what it is.

Uh, you've never heard the 10EE referred to as the "bubble butt"? :)
The 10EE is an amazing lathe, but the styling is from just short of 100 years ago.

Now the Hardinge, that's a gorgeous machine...

Edit: Bob, that Rivett is stunning -- who's machine is that?

BobWarfield
01-04-2008, 07:49 PM
Edit: Bob, that Rivett is stunning -- who's machine is that?

Sigh, unknown. I have it in my blog, but the link back to PM just goes to the main page. Probably one of their many reorgs zapped it. A determined searcher could no doubt find the lathe again and determine whose it was.

Sorry,

BW

lazlo
01-04-2008, 07:55 PM
USA products cost us twice the price and more when we get them so please sirr reconsider and feel sorry for us once again your homble servant the little devil

Alistair, with the current value of the US dollar just short of the Peso, buying American tools and having them shipped overseas is cheaper than ever before.

I used to buy stuff on the UK Ebay and have it shipped here, but especially lately, Ebay's "(Approximately US $xx.yy)" conversion has been frightful.

I work with some guys from Barcelona, and they were here in Austin a couple weeks before Christmas, and wanted to go by Best Buy. They're paid in Euros (obviously), and the exchange rate is so good...

John Stevenson
01-04-2008, 07:56 PM
Most of the Esabs in the US, especially the larger machines are all USA designed and manufactured. Many are just repainted Ltecs. Only a couple smaller migs, tigs, and plasmas are made in Europe and they are all crap.


Read this

http://www.esab.co.uk/gb/en/about/1996-2006.cfm

My 200 amp ESAB was made in Sweden. It has a duty cycle of 200 amp 60% and 160 amps at 100%

There is no fan fitted to this machine and it doen't need one.

.

lazlo
01-04-2008, 07:59 PM
My 200 amp ESAB was made in Sweden.

I didn't want to say anything about Esab, but John's right, of course -- the Esab Multimaster is made in Italy, the 350 MPI is USA (Portland), and most of the rest of the ESAB TIGs are made in Sweden.

Most of the ESAB plasma cutters are made in Italy.

Edit: while we're at it Macona, the Thermal Arc TIG welders that you and I got for Christmas are made for Thermadyne by Sanrex, in Japan :)

oldtiffie
01-04-2008, 09:25 PM
Get real fellas..

There is a lot of "romance" and "romancing" here about times that are either long gone or never existed either at all or in the way they are promoted or presented.

The so-called "good old days" probably never existed in large part either - especially for those that had to "live" them!!.

Just ask some of the "old-timers" (the few who are alive or have recorded things as they were) who worked those machines in some that were hell-holes under often appalling conditions on bare subsistence wages. They were just hired and fired at the whim of those "in charge". They either found work or they "went without" (or starved).

Just to set the record straight, I agree that much of the USA-made tools and machines were excellent and set the bench-mark "in their day". But so did some of the British (UK) and European stuff - a lot of which was world-class.

Times have changed and"moved on" and so should we if we don't want to be left mumbling in a corner and largely ignored.

We have similar "rust belts" here where Government Grants/Subsidies ("hand-outs") rarely if ever filtered down to those on "the shop floor". Most got "siphoned off" - "Foreign Aid" was not too much different either.

I'd suggest that neither the USA nor Europe could function without the low-paid immigrants - particularly in some sectors that have the "Government ear". There is a lot of "low pay" and "low paid workers" in South America that that both relies on and is relied upon by some sectors in the USA.

Don't complain about costs etc. This is the way it is - get used to it.

As far as "sellers" (of most of not all ilks) are concerned, you, as a "buyer" are just a "source of revenue" or an "opportunity".

The thing that rules according to a common thread here is "Mammon".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammon

You should see the chasing of something for nothing or very little that goes on here!!!.

People that sell stuff do it for a profit. Others do it out of desperation. The rest are in between.

Businesses are quite entitled to make their own "call" and charge what ever they like - that's their right. Competition or lack of it will soon settle things down. That's "the market forces" in play. I realise that that is more than a bit simplistic - but the fundamentals are pretty right.

Well mostly.

I haven't seen many true altruists or philanthropists here - perhaps there are - I just haven't seen them. But I'll bet that there are plenty still looking for 'em for all this largess'.
http://www.tfd.com/altruist
http://www.tfd.com/philanthropy

There seems to be a bit of "Cargo Cult" as well as "Navel gazing" and "lotus eating" here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navel_gazing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Eaters

I would bet that if your Pension Fund or your shares portfolio had shares or interests in some of these companies that you complain about and you thought the returns were too low, you'd be on the phone yelling.

FWIW, the rest of the world IS making good product and doing very well selling their product at what can only be competitive prices in the "Developed World".

If you are so keen to buy "made in the USA" stuff - go and buy it and be sure that the whole "food chain" from raw material through manufacture to end-seller is in the USA and will make a sustainable profit and "return on investment" etc. and you will have done your industry proud.

But if you go and buy it "cheap" from eBay or anywhere other than the USA, your "case" is at best "iffy".

All of our automotive industry (among many) here in OZ is wholly-owned by parent companies in the USA, Europe and Japan. We are used to it and don't complain.

Well - of course we do, as there's no shortage of people who want something for less or nothing here either.

In short - if you don't like the product or its source or its cost - either don't buy it or go without.

It might be instructive if you were to compare yourselves with the rest of the world and see how badly (if??) you are off in comparison.

The main reason so many see so much of "China" et. al. is that they are spending too much time and effort looking over their shoulder and all they see is "China". Well, if that's so, then it seems that "China" is not only catching up but is looking and planning ahead - not behind.

Perhaps if (when??) China has overtaken you, you will at least have to look forward for a change to see it.

jmm360
01-04-2008, 09:39 PM
oldtiffie,
You made a lot of interesting points. It will take awhile to digest them. I've only clicked on one link so far (Cargo cults) and it seems a little out there, but I liked the mention of Vanuatu. An old friend who now just sees the world in his sailboat has told great stories of Vanuatu. I think the key words were- kava root. A great place for an old prop forward from what I hear.

Regards,
John

aboard_epsilon
01-04-2008, 09:52 PM
mm
lets see

got a starrett combination square
a south bend model 9A
skilsaw classic

delta mortiser which is supposed to be USA but made in the far east

thats' it, except for the Bridgeport and hardinge .which were made/or assembled (not sure...cause i think just the bodywork is uk) in the uk.
another Bridgeport br2j head.....a Bridgeport slotter.
rest is German, Italian,danish or British .....no major far east stuff...except for tooling.

bet you USA guys would be hard pressed to find anything brand new... worth having, still made in the USA.



all the best.markj

oldtiffie
01-04-2008, 09:54 PM
oldtiffie,
You made a lot of interesting points. It will take awhile to digest them. I've only clicked on one link so far (Cargo cults) and it seems a little out there, but I liked the mention of Vanuatu. An old friend who now just sees the world in his sailboat has told great stories of Vanuatu. I think the key words were- kava root. A great place for an old prop forward from what I hear.

Regards,
John

Thanks John.

Stay away from that Kava Juice.

Friends of mine in the Navy were somewhere in Micro-Nesia/Melanesia and had what they said was "not a lot" of kava.

Seems most were "spaced out". One was "lost" and was found sitting on a log "warming his hands on the moon" - and he believed it!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava

I must say that after reading that Wiki-P item that I think I may have had the "p*ss" "taken out of me" - but it seemed plausible at the time. (Perhaps I'd put too much p*ss into myself - common habit then!!).

GrahamC
01-04-2008, 09:55 PM
Standard Modern Lathes: made in Canada. Supposed to be quite good, FWIW.

Cheers,

BW


Interesting, had never hear of them before and their web site does show them to be manufactured in Mississauga.

Learn something new every day. Still, I have never seen one.

cheers, Graham

macona
01-04-2008, 10:03 PM
Funny that esab site dosnt mention buying LTec. They also bought into Airco as well and for a time there were machine all identical, one saying Airco, Esab, and Ltec.

The Migmaster 250 and 251 are still made here. Virtually the same design as the LTec Migmaster 250 and has the same part numbers. The power cuts are still made here and they share a little heritage with the old LTec machines. The big plasmas like the ESP-100, ESP-200, and EPP-200 are all made here and are all based on the same control board that Ltec had used for years.

The HandyPlasmas are all made in italy though they did move some production of the 550 over here. The smaller Migmaster 203 and 170 are made overseas as well. These machines are all unadulterated crap. Flimsy stamped sheet metal. Horrible electrical connectors that must be hot glued to keep them together. Ugh! Had a customer bring a 203 in this week that looks like it toasted itself. Filled his garage with smoke and tripped the breaker.

These are the same machines on the UK site that the sell here. Junk, junk, junk...

http://products.esab.com/Templates/T041.asp?id=120247


Lazlo, yeah, it has a big ass, but thats what hides everything that makes the EE do what it can (finish wise) and some say no other lathe can. Dont know myself as I have never used a HLV. I would say is more of late 1920's -1930s art deco than 100 years old... If it was turn of the century there would hardly be any covers.

lazlo
01-04-2008, 10:19 PM
Lazlo, yeah, it has a big ass, but thats what hides everything that makes the EE do what it can (finish wise) and some say no other lathe can.

Hey now, some guys like that (a big ass) :D

Seriously, no argument here Macona -- the 10EE is one of the finest lathes ever made. I hope someday to have the shop space for one, but the thyratron drive system scares me, and I'm an electrical engineer :) What are the C16J's running for these days -- $500 each?

speedy
01-04-2008, 10:42 PM
These are the same machines on the UK site that the sell here. Junk, junk, junk...
http://products.esab.com/Templates/T041.asp?id=120247


A friend has the Origo C150, should I inform him of his good fortune in migs?

Thanks goodness I have my Lincoln SP-170T; it must be good, it is made in Australia:D I have a made in USA cover plate if that will improve it??

lazlo
01-04-2008, 10:44 PM
Thanks goodness I have my Lincoln SP-170T; it must be good, it is made in Australia:D I have a made in USA cover plate if that will improve it??

Wow, that's surprising -- I thought all Lincoln and Miller was Made in USA.

I have the 175 Plus, which is Made in USA, but it's better than your Australian Lincoln because it has the official Nascar logo on it :D

oldtiffie
01-04-2008, 11:00 PM
whay cant we get more good quality made in the U S A stuff here in the U K it seems very difficult unless you either pay way over U S prices or send off to the states and have shipping,import taxes etc added I wish we could get a lot more here or even some USA stores as I have been to the states many times and have always found the quality very good.




..........................................
...........................................

As far as Colchester goes, have you seen the prices of parts??? At $1000 for a handle and $750 for a cross slide nut you could buy several SBs.

There are still a LOT of good products coming out from every part of the US, just your not going to find them at Walmart.

Thanks macona.

That has - at last - both "hit the nail on the head" and - hopefully - brought the thread back to focus on Alistair Hosie's original post (copied at the top of this post - in case some "forgot").

There are still a LOT of good products coming out from every part of the US, just your not going to find them at Walmart.
I read a lot of forums from the USA as well as some HSM magazines.

I can only agree with you as regards USA-made quality and creativity.

From reading this and other similar threads, it seems that some don't want to pay Walmart prices either - it often seems to be "eBay or nothing".

I am not against "shopping around" at all - I do it myself and encourage it.

Some people have the time and temperament to get a "bargain" and "do it up" or "modify it to suit" etc. Great stuff and my congratulations to them.

I guess your comment could be re-stated as being that there is lots of such USA-made stuff - presumably new - that is more than some want to pay.

That is not a problem unique to the USA. It also applies in Europe, UK, here in OZ and doubtless, other places as well.

"Used", "second-hand" ("pre-loved"??) USA-made machines and equipment are in short supply and are "high cost" items here. I suspect that to be the case in the UK as well.

I also suspect that the supply of older "near-new" "Made in USA" stuff is dwindling and the price of scrap is increasing to the extent that a similar "supply shortage" and "cost/price pressure" will soon similarly apply in the USA as well. I guess that it happening in some parts already.

That being the case, if "old" cost rises to a premium, so will "new" to maintain the "price differential" and the cost pressures to "buy Asian" may well increase as well for those with tight budgets or shortage of time etc.

speedy
01-04-2008, 11:09 PM
Original plate states.
Made in Australia
The Lincoln Electric Co (Aust) Pty Ltd
38 Bryant St, Padstow, NSW 2211, Sydney .

The replacement states:
Australian made with local and U.S.A components.
The Lincoln.........
SYDNEY, NSW. AUSTRALIA.

Local components? USA components? sourced from where?? I guess it takes a bit of digging to discover. Nowadays it is the quality($) or lack of it($) that determines whether we purchase it or not. National borders, ie people, don't count for much in commerce; unless you are purchasing.

oldtiffie
01-05-2008, 06:12 AM
Lazlo, yeah, it has a big ass, but thats what hides everything that makes the EE do what it can (finish wise) and some say no other lathe can.


Hey now, some guys like that (a big ass) :D

Seriously, no argument here Macona -- the 10EE is one of the finest lathes ever made. I hope someday to have the shop space for one, but the thyratron drive system scares me, and I'm an electrical engineer :) What are the C16J's running for these days -- $500 each?

Er .........

Like this?

See pic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Female_Eunuch

IOWOLF
01-05-2008, 07:50 AM
OK, I have 2 words for you Nay sayers.....WELLS INDEX.

And way up there I would bet there is no cheap illegal labor working on them.

lazlo
01-05-2008, 09:35 AM
Great example Wolf -- Wells Index are nice machines!

They also have a spindle grinding service that's surprisingly cheap (for just about any spindle, not just Wells Index machines), and if you send your spindle bearings with the spindle, they'll grind the spindle in its bearings, and guarantee a 0.0002" TIR.

J Tiers
01-05-2008, 11:53 AM
For the counter-example. Starrett....

Once good, now headed down hill. Even Long Island Indicator has reservations about Starrett, so it's not just my opinion. Some things, like the "Last Word" have NEVER been that great (I like my British-made "Spot-On" much better)

Other USA made things have already rolled down hill and finally been washed away to low cost producers, from whom you get what you deserve for bottom-feeding.

I have no problem paying for quality, even US quality, it it IS quality. I prefer NOT to shop on price for many things (but I'll buy chip brushes from HF if I am going past a store, and need some).

I absolutely refuse to pay high prices and get the same crap that I could get elsewhere for less if I wanted it. If I wanted a cheap chinese toolbox (I don't), I'd buy one from HF or HD, and not pay Gerstner more for the same thing under "Gerstner international".

And I want to hit the bozos who tell me to do it "cuz its 'merican-made". First of all, most of it is only "merican" to the minimum amount required to allow the label. Second, if crap was 100% 'merican, it's still crap.

I don't necessarily agree, BTW, that "we did this to ourselves". I claim it has been "done to us".

No, there has been a 50 year campaign by corporate America (as distinct from the citizens) to wash away the idea of real quality, and replace it with a sort of 'interchangeable product" idea..........."it's the same thing, but we sell it for less because we buy so much volume".

Eventually, the people are made to forget the connection between price and quality. Quality usually costs, but cost does not guarantee quality. People get used to the idea of same exact item, lower cost, and begin to buy on price if they can.

The bait and switch comes when the lower cost philosophy changes to where it is no longer due to volume buying, but now is really due to damaging conditions..... shipping off all jobs to foreign places, cutting quality to the bone (and farther), etc, etc. That is what Wal-mart did. The bait and switch.

That is where we are. And it is why you should NOT feel bad about not getting "USA quality" goods. If you DID you'd very possibly be disappointed, the quality left the building years ago. "USA quality" is now somewhere that "cheap Japanese imitations" were in the 1950's. Only Japanese were on the way UP, but USA quality is on the way DOWN.

If it can be staked instead of welded or bolted, it's staked. If a cheap casting can replace a machined part, even if it will soon break, you get a cheap casting. if it can be plastic and still last the minimum warranty time, it's plastic. if it is unrepairable, so much the better, "they'll need a new one soon".

BTW, people have ALWAYS bought on price...... The difference now is that the alleged "equality of quality" is fictitious, the lower cost items are crap, and there ARE no higher cost items that are NOT crap.

The frogs did not put the fire under the pot, but they get boiled just the same.......

macona
01-05-2008, 03:28 PM
Ahh, then there's lincolns. All the small machines sold in the USA are now made in Mexico! Lincoln has some foreign junk mixed in as well. Their small inverters are made in italy, the fume extractors are made in denmark. Well, the fume extractors are actually pretty nice just horrendously expensive when it comes to parts. I think they may have learned from Colchester on that one.

In the USA to tell where your lincoln machine was made look at the serial #. First letter is where it was made. U= USA, i=Italy, M=Mexico, D = Denmark.

Miller has messed around with a couple overseas machines as well. The old spectrum 1500D was made by Daihen in Japan. Nice machine. The Maxstar 140 was made by a company in the Netherlands I believe.

I think now all the welders for Miller are now made in the USA, as well as Hypertherm. I believe Thermal Dynamics Plasmas as well. Tweco guns are still made here too.

pete913
01-05-2008, 08:16 PM
Welcome to da new world order guys, ha. Seriously though, there are high quality machines, parts, tools, whatever, made in all corners of the globe, just as there are el cheapo rip offs of them. You get what you pay for no matter where it came from. One good example is LS Starrett. They still make some good products, but they also make some el cheapo junk. Market pressure, as simple as that. Don't get me started on Last Word indicators lol. Out of all the indicators Starrett makes, I find it difficult to believe they can even sell the dang things anymore. I'd take the absolute worst el cheapo Chinese indicator ever made over a Last Word test indicator any old day. 40 yrs old or brand new, I wouldn't own one.

As an example of real American quality, Hermann Schmidt springs to mind. They'll sell you a very high quality grinding vise, for example, for around $720. You can also buy a Chinese copy of it for around $100. Is the Schmidt vise better? Sure it is, but is it 7 times better? Not IMO, and I've used both pretty extensively. They'll also sell you a set of 6 123 blocks for about $950. Guaranteed accuracy within .0001. So don't bitch about Chinese quality, or your perception of it when they'll sell you a pair of 123 blocks guaranteed to about half that level of accuracy for about $9.

Alistair, just wondering if US products imported into the UK are any cheaper now than they were a few yrs back, what with the devalued dollar. Would seem to me they'd have to be, as last time I was over in your neck of the woods, seemed like my money was not worth too much compared to about 5 yrs ago.

lazlo
01-05-2008, 08:44 PM
That's another great example of still made in the USA: Hermann Schmidt.

The only HS tool I've ever be able to afford is the edge finder :)

J Tiers
01-05-2008, 09:00 PM
They'll also sell you a set of 6 123 blocks for about $950. Guaranteed accuracy within .0001. So don't bitch about Chinese quality, or your perception of it when they'll sell you a pair of 123 blocks guaranteed to about half that level of accuracy for about $9.


The issue isn't the "capability" to make quality stuff in china.

It is the consistency with which it is made, linked to the complexity of the product.

123 blocks are almost as simple as it gets, although the chinese $9 are the right size, they may have detail issues, like the threaded holes being unusable, etc.

And, the "guarantee" is of no worth. WHO is the guarantor? An anonymous chinese source, who leaves the importer to fulfill the guarantee. The maker has ZERO responsibility.

I don't see the set of 123 blocks being worth $950, but I think I am correct to say that they will at least be NIST traceable. They will have been verified before shipment, by a process capable of measuring to a much lower error.

The $9 ones may be pretty much on size, but will be traceable only to Wong Li and his tape measure. Or his copy machine, where the worthless certificate was copied to be packed with your off-spec blocks. A few will be checked with mics, then the lot accepted as a whole.

The $950 ones will be the product of a consistent process, aimed at the middle of the range, and EVERY ONE will be right.

The $9 MAY "meet spec", but may be right on the edge.... +3 tenths on this side, -2 on the other, with a hump or two in between. And, of course, a number will be "out", maybe by a large amount......

As items become more complex, the usual sources (the ones allowed to sell outside china) fall down. They so often have hidden defects, "get'r dun" remedies that the customer won't see from outside, etc.

One chinese product that is very good is granite flats. Very simple, one surface must be very flat, all the others can just look good. Hardly ANY of them are bad.

Not so good are things with lots of parts. Lathes, etc. Even X-Y tables.

And, of course, when you can buy the complete item for LESS than the materials would SCRAP for here, then you KNOW that there is some funny dealing going on. That is pretty much the situation for some machinery of the Harbor Freight variety.

oldtiffie
01-05-2008, 10:05 PM
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I have no problem paying for quality, even US quality, it it IS quality. I prefer NOT to shop on price for many things (but I'll buy chip brushes from HF if I am going past a store, and need some).
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Eventually, the people are made to forget the connection between price and quality. Quality usually costs, but cost does not guarantee quality. People get used to the idea of same exact item, lower cost, and begin to buy on price if they can.
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Jerry.

That was as good job/post as I've seen in a long time as regards "reality in the market-place".

I will take it a little further.

It would be instructive to see with whom the beneficial ownership and holdings of the share registers of those companies now are.

Likewise, who the Directors/CEO's of those companies are and what holdings they have in that and similar companies (ie on multiple Boards and/or multiple holdings).

And what "incentives", "options", "remuneration" and "freebies" and "holdings" they and other executives have.

Its all about "stock prices" and what "analysts" think and report. So its all about maximising short term profit.

They would have no hesitation in "restructuring" the company or "making better use of resources" and "economies of scale", "contract/source it out", "change direction" etc. etc.

Its their "skins" (read: "interests") they are looking after - not yours or anyone else's.

"People" are a very high cost item and recouping an "adequate return on investment/capital/borrowings" etc. is quite difficult.

They would sell the company or its name or "good-will" as quick as a flash and then "move on to the next opportunity etc. etc. ".

Its a "bean-counter" exercise.

So, where do you fit in?

You are only a means to an end (profit) whether you are selling or buying.

If you are an employee (call it "independent contractor/consultant" if you like) you are seen/regarded as having very high associated and attendant costs.

As such you are one of the highest cost items of all and have to be paid whether there is "useful" (profitable) work for you or not.

If you are a seller, they will screw you down and tie you up (to and for them) to the extent that it is all or mostly to their advantage and not necessarily to yours.

Its potentially worse if there are several of you that are reliant on that buyer as they will play one against the other.

That all seems "rough".

Not too much different to selling or buying on eBay, or the local "Tool Store" or scrap metal merchant.

FWIW, running a household and its budget is not much different to running a small business really - if it is any different.

And so it goes.

There are some very nimble, adaptable and creative, efficient people who post on this thread that will survive as will some of the entrepreneurs here.

Did I mention all that "idle" money that is tied up in your shop which is depreciating very rapidly.

There are times when we all buy stuff that we "want" but really don't need or could do without until some time in the future or until "something better" comes along.

But we don't or "can't" wait.

I am as big if not a bigger "offender" in that regard as many (most??) others.

There are times that we have to buy something no matter what the cost at the time.

Most times, an a "adequate" tool or machine etc. that will "do the job" has to suffice - and does.

Buying anything "better" is often if not impossible to justify.

Buying "stuff" that has a "name" and as such as "sentimental" value falls into that category.

Its even worse if that "name" item is either not as good as you thought or remembered and/or was made by "others" and just "re-badged" to be the "name" brand - and all at exorbitant prices that is not dissimilar to taking advantage of people and "price-gouging".

And it isn't just on HSM stuff, as it can include electronics goods where the "mark up" is enormous - on some but not all goods.

Oil and petroleum products - sure.

If you really want to see a "controlled market" from end to end and enormous end-profit/"mark-up" don't just fasten onto diamonds and precious metals.

Try coffee!!

Oldbrock
02-09-2008, 01:32 AM
Bob W Standard Modern lathes made in Canada ARE dam good. Had a shop full of them in a High School before the Government decided that training machinists was some other country's job and we would just import them and put our guys on welfare. Most of my ex students either own their own shops or are running someone else's shop, Some are machining or mechanics or welders but most seem to be in one trade or another. Sorry I'm ranting on about useful programs being cut in favor of basket making and such. Peter

Charlie Rose
02-09-2008, 02:02 AM
[" but I don't ever recall ever seeing anything "made in Canada".

I worked at a Naval Weapons Station a few years ago and we needed a new cnc lathe.We got a nice, easy to run one that was "Made in Canada" it was a "Standard Modern"

SouthBend9
02-10-2008, 10:47 AM
Why can't we get more UK made over here. Wal MART attitude of Case studies. Price? You can't believe the pressure that Walmark puts on MFG.s On Price . Sourcing is always jamming the Chinnese stuff on the Engineering shop operations. Buy the mold from China they are half the cost ? Till you have to totally redo it. And what does that cost? Well it cost alot but guess what there is no money in the budget for tooling to repair . Sourcing get a promotion and Enginneering & shop operations gets the Shaft.
How many guys can help out on and get most of you work from Soucing decision on Price. Do they beat you up in price?
Oh lets a do the right thing for management send everything over there and put our logo on it so we don't have to think . Just make big bucks