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philbur
02-25-2011, 07:29 PM
It seems to becoming more common to buy tooling direct from China via Hong Kong bypassing the local rip-off middlemen and saving a whole bunch, even after taking into account the shipping costs. I recently bought an ER40 chuck that arrived 2 1/2 days after placing the order, the price and quality were excellent.

It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to assemble a list of Hong Kong internet sellers who have provided good service to members.

Here's my link.

http://stores.ebay.com/onelineseller/Metalworking-Tooling-USA-store-/_i.html?_fsub=19621942&_sid=372635320&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

Phil:)

Tony Ennis
02-25-2011, 07:36 PM
You should post this on PM too. They'd appreciate the info.

Lew Hartswick
02-25-2011, 07:39 PM
You should post this on PM too. They'd appreciate the info.
You had better put a smiley after that. :-)
...lew...

Black_Moons
02-25-2011, 07:41 PM
Of course, When you buy direct from hong kong/china/etc, By cutting out all the middlemen, Not a single cent of yours remains in the country. Not a single human in your country is employed to stock shelfs, sweep isles, run the checkout or process returns.

Well, Except maybe the postman. He gets to keep his job at least. Assuming everyone can still find a job somewhere to be able to afford ordering more chinese junk.

Just a thought on world economics.

dockrat
02-25-2011, 07:51 PM
Everything in thier USA store is metric! Whats with that??? (Oh Gawd! what have I started???)

philbur
02-25-2011, 07:51 PM
Simple, just give the middleman saving to your local charity. The middleman can go out and find a job that adds value.

Maintaining inefficient systems and processes purely to provide work without adding value are domed to failure, look at what happened to communist Europe.

Just a more pragmatic thought on world economics.

Phil:)


Of course, When you buy direct from hong kong/china/etc, By cutting out all the middlemen, Not a single cent of yours remains in the country. Not a single human in your country is employed to stock shelfs, sweep isles, run the checkout or process returns.

Well, Except maybe the postman. He gets to keep his job at least. Assuming everyone can still find a job somewhere to be able to afford ordering more chinese junk.

Just a thought on world economics.

Tony Ennis
02-25-2011, 08:11 PM
Simple, just give the middleman saving to your local charity. The middleman can go out and find a job that adds value.

Brutal, but I can think of no flaw in it.

Black_Moons
02-25-2011, 08:38 PM
philbur: Eh, While I do find physical first hand inspection of items before buying them (physical stores verus online) and easy, 100% no shiping cost (if you wait till the next time you go there to buy stuff anyway) returns to be somewhat of 'add value', I also admit you raise a very valid point about jobs that I endorse whole heartly.

Jobs should not be about employing people for employment sake. If anything, Jobs should be eliminated with cut throat efficency whenever possible.
Why have 1000 factory workers when you can have 10 techs/repair guys that maintain the equivilent amount of automated machinery?
'you fired 990 people! They don't have jobs anymore!', Yea, but they where 990 people doing stupid manual work that I bet not one of them actualy enjoyed. And none where paid enough to live life they way they want. Put tab A into Slot B, Repeat 90,000 times, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Now we have 10 people who do something a little more varyed and much harder and more expensive to automate. 10 jobs that require education, Thinking and actual skills. They might even enjoy thier jobs to some degree as it is at least not 100% mindless repeation. And being they are the only 10 guys to pay in the entire factory, they would likey earn a lot more doing the highly skilled repair/maintence then mind numbing assembley work of the people obsoleted.

Jobs, Should be about doing work that is done better manualy then pratical automation methods. We all work way too much, And enjoy outselfs too little, Because of all these jobs that need doing!

Yea, Maybe a lot of people will end up outta work. Or maybe without need to pay all these people wages for employments sake, Things will become so cheap, and the few remaining jobs pay so much, That you only need to work 1 day a week to maintain your current lifestyle.

And as for my physical store 'Added value'.. A giant (array of?) vending machine(s) could pertty much replace most of the staff in a store. Even stocking the machines could be done by machines. And packing broken/returned stuff up to send back to the factory.

John Stevenson
02-25-2011, 08:50 PM
Simple, just give the middleman saving to your local charity. The middleman can go out and find a job that adds value.

Maintaining inefficient systems and processes purely to provide work without adding value are domed to failure, look at what happened to communist Europe.

Just a more pragmatic thought on world economics.

Phil:)

But be prepared to have to buy everything from China when the middlemen decide it's not worth the hassle and shut up shop.

hareng
02-25-2011, 09:05 PM
Never a truer word John.

Use em or loose em!

JCHannum
02-25-2011, 09:30 PM
All good in theory until aftermarket service is needed for warranty work, or repairs, parts or service are needed a couple of years down the road.

Tony Ennis
02-25-2011, 09:43 PM
That's the value-add, JCHannum. Also, QC on the inbound side will help too. Returns are better too. Returning something to China would be... expensive.

squirrel
02-25-2011, 10:11 PM
Of course, When you buy direct from hong kong/china/etc, By cutting out all the middlemen,

Sad part, many of us have tried unsuccessfully to become an authorized dealer for a USA/European product line and then get turned down for what ever reason. I am going to sell new product if we have buyers and if the USA/European manufactures do not sell to us, so be it, China does not ask questions. Chinese manufactures treat their USA customers like gold, they ask how many and tell me where to wire the funds. Their sales reps are very pro-active, something unheard of nowdays, can you really blame some one for shopping China direct......

Mcostello
02-25-2011, 10:59 PM
Those 990 people might not be making what they want to make, but, they could be VERY glad they have a job and are doing their best. Also beats having 990 more people competing for nonexistent jobs.

justanengineer
02-25-2011, 11:03 PM
Im not afraid to be seen buying or using an asian tool or two upon occasion, but choose to pay a bit more for quality U.S. made tools the majority of the time. For me its more than quality though, its economics and a matter of resale value. Just as many farmers have found out the hard way, the orange tractor they bought new isnt worth as much in ten years as the green one they had for forty. I like to get deals on everything and only keep things of real value so that if I want to sell it tomorrow, I dont lose a ton of money on it.

The problem as I see it today is that most of domestic merchandising here in the states chooses not to carry quality anymore, but rather goes strictly for price. If something is big enough to be popular or mass marketed, then it will be made wherever its cheapest, which currently is asia, but not because their factories are technologically superior.

FETOAU
02-25-2011, 11:31 PM
I don't know about the rest of you but I have always thought it was false economy to buy from the "big box stores" or from offshore unless there was a significant cost difference. By that I mean whether it is the difference between winning or loosing the job.

The local supplier, where you can touch, look, and feel, and with the knowledgeable folks behind the counter are worth their weight in gold. For example, you buy a product (part or tool, it doesn't matter) and it fails, your local supplier will replace it today. No waiting - no filing papers. This in itself is important, particularly if you are facing a deadline.

The most value they provide is their aggregate years of accumulated knowledge. If you are not willing to pay for this this knowledge base it won't be around when you need it.

How many of you have gone to your local supplier and described a problem, gotten a solution, touched and felt the solution, and then gone back to your office or home and searched the net to save a few dollars. I'd bet in most cases your time versus the cost saved wouldn't pencil out.

Even when I had a very large project that I knew the local vendor couldn't compete on, I always gave them the opportunity and when they fell way short I explained to them that I had to use the other vendor because if I didn't then I wouldn't be around to be a customer. They always accepted this.

Life is a two way street and it takes customers for all of us to make business work. This also applies to our vendors.

All of you need to support your local suppliers provided they provide service and have an accumulated knowledge base that you can rely on when you need it, otherwise they won't be there when you really, really need them.

My thoughts and worth exactly what it cost you.

J Tiers
02-25-2011, 11:48 PM
Face it......

The chinese are more "American" than the average "American".

Everything that Americans claim they are, and that they really do have as a history, Americans no longer do........ But the chinese learned, and they do those things.

Go-getting attitude? Americans are too busy watching TV, sitting on their fat butts...... Chinese are out there DOING it.

Pushing for business? You can't get an American company interested in selling you something half the time. And if you want a small change in it, fugettaboutit.

Chinese respond, quote, and deliver. if you are going to buy enough, they are happy to make changes for you.

Phooey..... chinese quality may not be as good as it could be, but as for getting out there and selling products, responding to inquiry, etc, etc, its chinese every time.

Americans are too busy chanting political slogans about 'don't tread on me" to do any business.

Chinese will sell to you if you have the money, and they don't worry about your politics. Their politics makes a rustle or a jingle in the pocket.

.RC.
02-26-2011, 12:20 AM
But be prepared to have to buy everything from China when the middlemen decide it's not worth the hassle and shut up shop.

Plenty of people out there totally computer illiterate who buy from them to keep them open..

In any case you can't buy big stuff from China anyway... I can't even get a spindexer from overseas and they sell for $150 here...

FETOAU
02-26-2011, 12:58 AM
The productive American worker is competitive with anyworker in any country on earth. Productive and work are the key words.

My oldest son took over a division of a major American company that was in the red 6 months into the fiscal year. In six months he reversed the earnings to 3 mil more for the fiscal year than had been projected.

This division was the only division that hadn't been converted to offshore and the company wanted to disolve this last remaining american mfg operation to offshore. This division/product is an industrial tool name each of you would recognize.

My son (who was raised on a plant floor and has several successful patents to his name along with an MBA) did a precise cost analysis taking into account all costs including supply chain costs. His analysis showed that it was more cost effective for the product to be produced in ths USA versus China or elsewhere.

Senior management along with the senior bean counters discounted all costs except mfg and transportation cost and determined mfg would be transferred to China.

The problem with USA products, production, and disribution in a lot of cases is not with the workers or with production line mgt, but is a problem of bean counters who don't know how to count beans.

Steelmaster
02-26-2011, 03:31 AM
Plenty of people out there totally computer illiterate who buy from them to keep them open..

In any case you can't buy big stuff from China anyway... I can't even get a spindexer from overseas and they sell for $150 here...

I got a quote from CDCO on one of those about $US35 + $US48 postage.

Plus there was some room weight left over for small tooling.

Pretty sad we can buy that from the US for half the price they are here, same thing, same country of origin, twice the price.

ptjw7uk
02-26-2011, 05:03 AM
Yes but in the west we have the bankers sitting on both shoulders!!!

Peter

philbur
02-26-2011, 06:17 AM
Such is life. It's call progress. It might not always be good but it is usually unstoppable.

Who do you think killed manual lathe manufacturing in the west. The middleman supplying the Cheap Chinese alternative of course. Now it's possibly his turn. It was bound to happen.

Phil:)

PS: What's the difference if I buy the same product mail order from a guy 50 miles up the road or 12,000 miles on the other side of the planet, if both deliver in a few days and one at half the price of the other. I challenge anyone to claim they would buy from the former. If you really want to support your local economy don't buy Chinese from any source, full-stop.




But be prepared to have to buy everything from China when the middlemen decide it's not worth the hassle and shut up shop.

Doc Nickel
02-26-2011, 06:54 AM
The problem as I see it today is that most of domestic merchandising here in the states chooses not to carry quality anymore, but rather goes strictly for price.

-That's because virtually everyone selects and buys strictly by price.

As long as it's not falling apart in the box, we will always buy the cheaper of two choices. Even if it's a less-accurate machine tool or accessory- we'll happily trade the quality for the ability to pay less.

Doc.

goose
02-26-2011, 10:26 AM
"we shall hang the capitalist with the rope he sold us."

I ordered an Ipad from the Apple online store this past summer, delivered by Fed-Ex a few weeks later. The tracking info from the Fed-Ex site shows originating direct from China, China-Alaska- some other stop maybe, then my house. There is no value added to the product in the United States, e.g., stocking, assembly, packaging, nothing. Except for delivery, it is not touched by Americans.


Gary

John Stevenson
02-26-2011, 10:39 AM
Except for delivery, it is not touched by Americans.


Gary

And that was probably a Mexican driver ? :D

lazlo
02-26-2011, 11:34 AM
All good in theory until aftermarket service is needed for warranty work, or repairs, parts or service are needed a couple of years down the road.

Have you ever tried to buy parts for a Chinese machine tool sold by Enco or Harbor Freight?

This really is a game-changer. The only value-ad that Enco/Harbor Freight/Arc Euro/Hare & Forbes provide is warranty returns. And as we all know, the rate of returns is very high.

Personally, I'll keep buying through Enco for exactly that reason.

I'm curious how this fits into Sir John's description of the tiered quality system, where the Chinese manufacturers all build the same Spindex, tilting angle table, ER collet chuck, ... to a specific quality level (or they build them and tier them by quality post-facto), and they're supposedly graded and priced accordingly?

philbur
02-26-2011, 12:21 PM
The intention of the original post was toward tools and tooling not machine tools. This makes the issue of aftermarket service, warranty work, repairs, parts or service go away. The only thing remaining is: "was it a bigger piece of crap than you were expecting for your money". The tools are so cheap you can afford to test the water with a particular Hong Kong contact. If you are not satified move to another contact. This would put the pressure of value for money on the Hong Kong end.

This is the reason I was suggesting to establish a list of preferred contacts.

Phil:)

Pete F
02-26-2011, 02:31 PM
"we shall hang the capitalist with the rope he sold us."

I ordered an Ipad from the Apple online store this past summer, delivered by Fed-Ex a few weeks later. The tracking info from the Fed-Ex site shows originating direct from China, China-Alaska- some other stop maybe, then my house. There is no value added to the product in the United States, e.g., stocking, assembly, packaging, nothing. Except for delivery, it is not touched by Americans.


Gary

That is why it says "Designed by Apple in California" on the box. Apple isn't interested in being a manufacturing company - it is a design company.

-Pete

Carld
02-26-2011, 03:33 PM
I prefer to buy my machine stuff from dealers in the USA not China. When the Chinese put a warehouse like Enco, MSC or CDCO, etc. in the USA and deal directly from here I will consider buying from them but not until. I like to have the next day delivery from Enco, MSC and CDCO they provide.

When I start looking for something it's because I want it now for a job in the shop for a customer that wants it yesterday. I don't have a lot of customers but I keep them happy with quick turn around's.

The middle men are doing us a service and it's worth paying for most the time. The price of supplies and materials are added to the job cost. For big dollar items it may be worth taking a chance on overseas orders but I doubt it. I prefer to let the middle men take the chances and pay them for the convenience.

Alistair Hosie
02-26-2011, 04:52 PM
Maybe I am old fashioned but I find the middlemen as you call them do invariably a good Job.Can you imagine trying to get bad equipment repaired or replaced under warranty.I agree with Jim Hannun there is no such thing in this world as a fee meal at the end of the day cheap usually means imperfect.
I deal alot in the Uk with axminster power tools they have an ecellent record of cutomer care.that's peace of mind in my book.A bit like not having insurance it's cheap if you can get away with it until something goes wrong.And there are people willing to take the chance.maybe it's a GOOD ENOUGH IDEA FOR SMALL PRICED OBJECTS WHEREBY YOU CAN LAUGH IF IT GOES WRONG.i BUY ON EBAY ALOT AND AM CURRENTLY WAITING FOR DREMEL STYLE TUNGSTEN CUTTERS TEN FOR TEN POUNDS INC POSTAGE i HAVE BOUGHT THEM BEFORE AND EVENTUALLY THEY ARRIVED AND i HAVE BEEN VERY PLEASED DIRECT FROM h k BUT IF IT HAD GONE SOUR AS i KIND OF HALF EXPECTED IT TO i COULD HAVE STILL CARRIED ON THAT DAY SMILING. EXCUSE TYPING i JUST noticed I got it wrong again :D Alistair

Mike Hunter
02-26-2011, 04:57 PM
There are still folks in this country that understand what quality is, and are willing to pay for it. But unfortunately they are getting fewer and fewer.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine last night. He makes tools for the engraving industry, one of his suppliers started sending him inferior quality sub-assemblies; he contacted this supplier, he found out that they are now out-sourcing overseas. If he doesnít find another supplier, he will discontinue making the productÖ. As he clearly articulated ďI refuse to put my name on a piece of crapĒ. But again thatís the exception rather than the rule these days.

Letís say you have a problem with a B&S, Starrett, Mit, or other quality tool makerís Micrometer, you tell them that itís .005 off. You send it to them, they are going to check the tool, check their QA, check their manufacturing process, check with in house engineers, machinist, to hopefully figure out how they had that problem, and minimize its occurrence.

Take a Chinese quality Micrometer back to HF, after youíre done explaining to the disinterested, pimply faced kid behind the counter what .001 of an inch is, and why .005 may actually be important to someone, heís going to take the mic, throw it in the trash and tell you to go get another one off the pallet.

Two separate shops;

In one, you see brand name quality measuring tools, gauges, v-blocks, cutters etc.

In another shop, all you see are the cheapest HF and no name brand tools and cutters,

Which of those two shops will inspire confidence?

If you donít look for quality in the products you use, good chance there wonít be any quality in the products you produce.

Alistair Hosie
02-26-2011, 05:04 PM
Well said Mike just the point exactly.
Apart from which I like to telephone a company who are on first name terms with me and really try to help me when ever they can.Alistair

philbur
02-26-2011, 06:58 PM
Letís say you have a problem with a B&S, Starrett, Mit, or other quality tool makerís Micrometer, you tell them that itís .005 off. You send it to them, they are going to check the tool, check their QA, check their manufacturing process, check with in house engineers, machinist, to hopefully figure out how they had that problem, and minimize its occurrence. ROTFLMAO. You are joking - right?



Take a Chinese quality Micrometer back to HF, after youíre done explaining to the disinterested, pimply faced kid behind the counter what .001 of an inch is, and why .005 may actually be important to someone, heís going to take the mic, throw it in the trash and tell you to go get another one off the pallet. Exactly. If you are going to buy Chinese you may as well buy direct.

Phil:)

gda
02-26-2011, 07:12 PM
I recently bought some Mitsubishi inserts (made in Japan) through CTC (hong kong) for less than half price I can get here. Only concern I have is if they might be counterfeit.

Steelmaster
02-26-2011, 07:25 PM
When the first Japanese cars came in to Australia, people talked the same about their quality as people now do about Chinese stuff.

Now they reckon Japanese cars are the ant pants quality wise, a Lexus is considered a status symbol.

I have bought a lot of Chinese tooling and none of it has not been fit for purpose, some of perhaps a bit rough around the edges.

At the same every TV, be it plasma or LCD, every computer etc etc comes out of China and the quality, even of the cheap ones, is far better than the ones that used to be produced in the US or Australia.

Pointing the finger at Chinese goods and disparaging it is self defeating in the long run.

They are building new factory after new factory, the US (and Australia) have ever growing "rust belts".

They are investing in their future, we are borrowing against our children's' future.

In my experience the Chinese people are the most motivated people on this Earth, you only have to look at the top performing students in our (Australian) schools, Chinese and/or Asian students are represented way over their percentage of total students.

sansbury
02-27-2011, 02:09 AM
There is no value added to the product in the United States, e.g., stocking, assembly, packaging, nothing. Except for delivery, it is not touched by Americans.

Nothing is touched by Americans except about 99% of the profit.

Foxconn and other Chinese manufacturers may profit a few dollars per iPad, while Apple clears over two hundred. Then they get 30 cents on every dollar of sales in the App Store. All of that money flows back to Cupertino, not Shenzhen.

This interview with the CEO of Foxconn (the largest of the Chinese gizmo-assemblers) was interesting. The money quote:

Perhaps most intriguing is his plan to move additional production to the U.S. The company currently employs about 1,000 workers in a Houston plant that makes specialized high-end servers for corporate clients the company declined to disclose, and Gou envisions a fully automated plant to produce components within five years. "If I can automate in the U.S.A. and ship to China, cost-wise it can still be competitive," he says. "But I worry America has too many lawyers. I don't want to spend time having people sue me every day."

http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content/10_38/b4195058423479.htm

Mike Hunter
02-27-2011, 10:44 AM
I am not saying that the Chinese cannot produce an excellent product, they can; some of their stuff is scary good. If a Chinese Auto manufacturer wanted to build a car comparable to the Lexus, they could.

Think of Chinaís production sector as a flea market, or better yet a Turkish Bazaar. There you have products in all price ranges and levels of quality. So you can find tooling ranging from total crap to top of the line equal in every way to anything westerners can produce.

My mother used to have some of those decorative brass serving spoons, and little brass lamps, think they were made in India. They looked pretty, but when you tried to use them as a spoon or lamp they were total crap. Thatís what I tend to refer to as ďForm FunctionĒ. It looks like a lamp, smells like a lamp, but itís not a lamp.

The Chinese tooling being imported by many companies is the same way; it looks like a v-block, smells like a v-block but when you try and use it as a v-block, itís totally worthless, just like the lamp..Purely decorative.

And yes a lot of folks will say ďYou just need spend a few hours remachining it to make it rightĒ. Well, I can spend a few hours on that lamp and make it into a crappy lamp, but thatís not why I bought it.

Some Examples:

Enco milling vises; had three, after spending a couple of hours grinding them on my surface grinder to get them straight, they would still twist when parts were clamped in them. After two years of use, all the castings had cracked.

V-Blocks; Advertised as square & parallel to .0002, which they were when oriented in the right direction. Turn them 180 and they were no longer square or parallel. The screw holes were either tapped very rough or under sized, so the screws supplied canít be used in all the holes. The v-blocks are super hard, so you canít chase the threaded holes without breaking a tap. And the top clamping strap is made out of cast iron, so it snaps within the first few uses. As a V-block for actual machining, itís totally unusable, but it looks pretty.

End mills, couple of passes in anything steel, they are dull.

Our grandparents put a value on quality, the crap currently being imported and bought by the hundreds of tons today, would never have lasted on the market 50 years ago. Customers would have demanded that the quality improve. But today, in the ďI want it all ..NowĒ mindset, quality is no longer a consideration.

lazlo
02-27-2011, 11:11 AM
Think of China’s production sector as a flea market, or better yet a Turkish Bazaar. There you have products in all price ranges and levels of quality. So you can find tooling ranging from total crap to top of the line equal in every way to anything westerners can produce.

That was exactly what Sir John explained, and I believe he's employed by Arc Euro and has been over to the Chinese tool bazaars.
The problem is, once the tiered quality hits the Western middlemen, they slap random brand names on them, and the end-user has no idea where they are in the quality tier.

I've asked this question before: is a Palmgren spindex any better than a no-name spindex? Ditto for the X-Y tables?

PixMan
02-27-2011, 01:33 PM
That was exactly what Sir John explained, and I believe he's employed by Arc Euro and has been over to the Chinese tool bazaars.
The problem is, once the tiered quality hits the Western middlemen, they slap random brand names on them, and the end-user has no idea where they are in the quality tier.

I've asked this question before: is a Palmgren spindex any better than a no-name spindex? Ditto for the X-Y tables?

I've long considered Palmgren products to be near-bottom-of-the-barrel quality, and that's even when all of them were still made in the USA. My dad bought a Chinese-made spindexer from Enco a few years ago and I find it to be...Palmgren quality. ;)

If I wanted a high-quality one, I'd be shopping for a Hardinge or Suburban Tool Co. one.

DougC_582
02-27-2011, 03:58 PM
One thing to keep in mind about being concerned where a thing is made: if a far-cheaper option is available elsewhere, keep in mind that the reason the locally-produced one costs more usually has to do with what laws your own legislators have passed upon your own land. Everybody wants a clean environment and reasonable wages and so on, but at some point you are basically making a choice: will my country allow these jobs to exist or not? Because that's what it amounts to.

There are a great many politicians of all stripes, who, when they run out of public taxpayer money to spend,,,,, always assume that the problem is that they are not collecting enough tax money, fast enough.

-------

Another matter to consider is that there are many hobbyists here who couldn't afford it at all if they had to only buy top-rate tools. In my own case (being in the USA) the domestic-made stuff might be a better quality, but it costs five to ten times as much as the imported stuff tends to.

Alistair Hosie
02-27-2011, 03:59 PM
When I first started out on this pastime/hobby, I treated myself to a Chinese full set of tungsten carbide cutters similar to myfords own set.They cost me £64.00When they arrived they looked the part I sat on them for a while as I was just starting out when I eventually went to use them they were soft as cheese and crumbled like crazy.I resharpened them and gave them to another beginer old friend. he never liked them either. Alistair

Mike Hunter
02-27-2011, 07:04 PM
-------

Another matter to consider is that there are many hobbyists here who couldn't afford it at all if they had to only buy top-rate tools. In my own case (being in the USA) the domestic-made stuff might be a better quality, but it costs five to ten times as much as the imported stuff tends to.



Doug
Hate to sound argumentative but I’m going to disagree with your above statement.

What you need to do is look for bargains; where the value/quality to price is right.

Look in the latest Enco sales flyer:

USA made carbide tipped tool bits $2.69
No name import (China) brand: $2.28
So buying import saved you .41 cents.

4 Flute, ľ in Carbide end mills:
USA Made Atrax Brand: $7.09
Shars import (China) : $7.90
Buying import cost you .81 cents

Buying import (China) dosent save as much as you might think. And considering that the cutters will last 2-10 times longer....you've really saved a bundle buying American.

I wish i could go back in time and get all that money I had wasted on import junk, and buy quality stuff... I would be a lot farther ahead.

Right now Grizzly has B&S 6 in digital calipers for $79. They are Swiss made by Tesa, one of the highest quality manufactures of measuring devices in the world.
Buy a good Starrett or Fisher edge finder for $13. It will last a lifetime, and it will actually be accurate

Go to pawn shops, I just picked up a Starrett Mic for $20. Retail was over $100

Save your money, wait until Enco has a 20% sale, I’ve bought 2x Kurt Vises that way.

Doc Nickel
02-27-2011, 07:56 PM
Hate to sound argumentative but Iím going to disagree with your above statement.

What you need to do is look for bargains; where the value/quality to price is right.

-You forgot the key part of that argument: the machines themselves.

Where's the affordable USA-made lathe? How much is an American-made mill? Hell, just a drill press made in the US costs almost a thousand dollars.

You're listing cheap cutting tools- common, mass produced. How about a US-made indexing head with tailstock? Or a rotary table? Or a 10" 3-jaw chuck?

The ubiquitous AXA quick-change toolposts are $150 for the import set- with blocks. The Aloris is $600 just for the post, with blocks going for what, $75 each just for the standard ones? I have two imports and thirty-plus blocks. How much did I save?

Don't get me wrong- I dislike buying imports as much as the next guy. I'd love to buy American, or even good quality European, but often, I simply can't. I'll snatch it up in a heartbeat if I find a used one for a good price, but there's no way I can afford a $1,500 indexing head, or an $18,000 mill.

Doc.

Mike Hunter
02-27-2011, 08:47 PM
Doc

Fully understand, I rely on my machines and tooling to make me money, so it's not a hobby.

Most of the time I don't go out looking for things unless need them for a particular job.

Did a lot of work on a Sheldon just like yours

I can truthfully state that I bought both my Bridgeports for less than one of same size Grizzly mill would have cost.

K&T super spacer/dividing head (can't live without one since I make Octagon barrels) cost me $75 from a machine shop that was converting over to CNC.

Yuasa Rotary table cost me $120, I bought it but never found a need to use it.

Now keep in mind, I live in "Cattle Country" , the nearest machine shop is 135 miles away, so it's not like there's an over abundance here.


I'm also not one of those that needs everything now.


V/R

Mike

squirrel
02-27-2011, 08:55 PM
Hate to sound argumentative but I’m going to disagree with your above statement.



USA made carbide tipped tool bits $2.69
No name import (China) brand: $2.28
So buying import saved you .41 cents.

4 Flute, ľ in Carbide end mills:
USA Made Atrax Brand: $7.09
Shars import (China) : $7.90
Buying import cost you .81 cents



Are you 100% positive the endmill is made in USA, a large number of companies are using carbide blanks from India and China and grinding them in the USA thats how they can keep the price low. Its extremely hard to find a company that will send you a cert. stating materials and labor are USA. They like to side step your question and answer with "they are ground in our faciltiy" then your mind applies an assumption they totally made in USA.

Checked out your site, excellent work

goose
02-27-2011, 09:01 PM
Nothing is touched by Americans except about 99% of the profit.

Foxconn and other Chinese manufacturers may profit a few dollars per iPad, while Apple clears over two hundred. Then they get 30 cents on every dollar of sales in the App Store. All of that money flows back to Cupertino, not Shenzhen.



I was just actually amazed and bemused that the product went straight from the loading dock in China to my doorstep.

As for Apple, profit or not, the guy-with-cancer-dude who runs the show is rich, who cares? I'll never see any of their profit, nor will you. Corporations are defined also by things other than their profit. Do they share their wealth? Do they pay employees a respectable wage? What of the taxes it pays, or doesn't? What of it's respect for the environment? You think Apple is busy cleaning up the cesspool of industrial sludge created by China sub-contractors, or more interested in avoiding costs?

I'm sure Levis Corp makes oodles of profit selling their overpriced low quality products made in deplorable sweatshops by pretty third-world girls, but does that really benefit anyone but officers and major shareholders?


Gary

Doc Nickel
02-27-2011, 09:33 PM
Fully understand, I rely on my machines and tooling to make me money, so it's not a hobby.

-Doug pointed out a truthful statement: That virtually all hobbyist machinists, and for that matter, more than few small for-pay shops, wouldn't be able to enjoy their hobby or run their small business without the cheap import tooling.

You disagreed, noting two small examples where the US-made part was literally mere pennies more than the import.

But while those two examples may be technically correct (I haven't checked your prices) it misses the complete picture by a long shot. It's like saying a US-made computer would be competitive with a Chinese-made PC, and giving the example of a US-made blank CD being nearly the same cost as an imported one.

Your next examples of two Bridgeports and a K&T head were clearly the purchase of used equipment, and don't apply to the argument. Last summer I bought a used Baldor 8" bench grinder for $35 at a garage sale. A Ryobi 6" is about $41 at the local Home Depot- does that mean Baldors are competitive in price with Chinese imports?

Hell no- that Baldor new is over $700. Those Bridgeports, had you bought them new, would have been $16,000 to $18,000 each. You wouldn't have been able to buy that Sheldon new within the last twenty years, and within the last ten, your choices for a similar lathe would have been a $10,000 Southbend or a $50,000 factory-rebuilt 10EE.

Lots of people on this board own Kurt vises. How many bought them new? Two? Maybe three, tops? A few more went with new $300 Glacerns rather than $650 Kurts, but the majority of us either wait for a used Kurt to show up, or buy an import.

What Doug said was true, and that's our dilemma: Most of us would like to buy American, but the hard fact is, most of us wouldn't be able to enjoy our hobby- or run our small business- without imported Asian tools.

And yes, that includes those of us that have bought older US machines- we still need affordable vises, inexpensive cutters, cheap carbides, and all manner of other things like mics, parallels, chucks and toolposts.

Again, I would love to buy American, and will when I can. But a set of Brown & Sharpe 1-2-3 blocks is almost $100. A Wilton bench vise is $900 for a small one. That K&T indexing head today probably costs North of $2,000.

Doc.

squirrel
02-28-2011, 12:50 AM
Flash back about 20+ years ago, most guys had enough cash to buy a new Kurt vise because they had a good paying job in a factory some where. Then large companies started to bug out in search of lower operating costs in countries that overlook dumping of chemicals into a river. That displaced worker finally finds employment in the USA for maybe two thirds to half their former wage, NOW he has no other option, buy an el cheapo vise.

It has become a circle that can only be broken by the people willing to spend the additional cost for a USA made good. Its not only the little person, the problem was created at the corporate level, many are driven by greed or leveraged by banks and investors.......

snowman
02-28-2011, 03:44 AM
Why have 1000 factory workers when you can have 10 techs/repair guys that maintain the equivilent amount of automated machinery?
'you fired 990 people! They don't have jobs anymore!', Yea, but they where 990 people doing stupid manual work that I bet not one of them actualy enjoyed. And none where paid enough to live life they way they want. Put tab A into Slot B, Repeat 90,000 times, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Now we have 10 people who do something a little more varyed and much harder and more expensive to automate. 10 jobs that require education, Thinking and actual skills. They might even enjoy thier jobs to some degree as it is at least not 100% mindless repeation. And being they are the only 10 guys to pay in the entire factory, they would likey earn a lot more doing the highly skilled repair/maintence then mind numbing assembley work of the people obsoleted.

Hey look, it's the kind of thinking that got the western world to where it's at now.

Why should we have all those idiots out there collecting minimum wage when we could have one computer doing all of their jobs! They don't do anything except turn levers, and any robot can do that. We can just hire one person for every 50, to repair the robot.

You would think that with China being all on top of their game, they would quit paying people to do mindless jobs, get with the time. But somehow that's the exact mentality that they used to beat us out of manufacturing. Cheap manual labor over high tech automation.

Circlip
02-28-2011, 06:25 AM
Same old same old, thought this subject had been beaten to death by now, but no.

Apple computers were being assembled in Taiwan 30 years ago and on a parallel asembly line in the same factory, non "Apple" marked same components were being used to manufacture the same computers for sale at a vastly less price.

The customer always sets the market price, - how much they're prepared to pay.

Don't understand why so many complain they can't buy good ole American or European Iron anymore, they are constantly buying it in the form of recycled metal from the far east/India. Yesterdays Monach/Cincinati is todays H/F and Grissly.

Regards Ian.

Mike Hunter
02-28-2011, 11:19 AM
The intent of my posts was not an import/USA comparison.

More to the point it was an acceptable level of quality, and how we have lowered our standards to what is now acceptable.

A V-Block with most of its holes unusable, a clamping strap the breaks the first time you use it, and is only square and parallel when oriented in one direction, to me, is pretty much worthless as a v-block for use in machining.

Milling vises that donít hold parts straight, twist when parts are clamped, and crack after a few years use, in my mind is not an overly useful milling vise.

Spindexers that require a few hours of machining by the owner, just to be useable.

Rotary tables that are accurate to +/- 10 degrees.

To me crap like that is unacceptable, but thatís just me, sounds like many others are perfectly satisfied

ďIf you donít look for quality in the products you use, good chance there wonít be any quality in the products you produceĒ

philbur
02-28-2011, 11:54 AM
Lets see now, how big an exaggeration can I make and get away with. Such distortions negate any valid points you may have had.

Or put a bit less politely - What a crock of s*it.

Phil:)


Rotary tables that are accurate to +/- 10 degrees.

To me crap like that is unacceptable, but thatís just me, sounds like many others are perfectly satisfied

John Stevenson
02-28-2011, 02:08 PM
Phil,
If I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times, DON'T EXAGGERATE.............

squirrel
02-28-2011, 10:20 PM
The intent of my posts was not an import/USA comparison.

More to the point it was an acceptable level of quality, and how we have lowered our standards to what is now acceptable.

A V-Block with most of its holes unusable, a clamping strap the breaks the first time you use it, and is only square and parallel when oriented in one direction, to me, is pretty much worthless as a v-block for use in machining.

Milling vises that don’t hold parts straight, twist when parts are clamped, and crack after a few years use, in my mind is not an overly useful milling vise.

Spindexers that require a few hours of machining by the owner, just to be useable.

Rotary tables that are accurate to +/- 10 degrees.

To me crap like that is unacceptable, but that’s just me, sounds like many others are perfectly satisfied

“If you don’t look for quality in the products you use, good chance there won’t be any quality in the products you produce”
You forgot about the cheap carbide endmills, I had a brand new import endmill fail on the first pass in a piece of 6061, a 1/2" long piece of the flute flew out. Thank goodness it was in a fully enclosed VMC.