PDA

View Full Version : Rant: Poor Quality tools, junk knock offs



firbikrhd1
05-19-2011, 09:55 AM
Recently I posted a request for instructions to a Gamet/Enco 222-1100 type Automatic Boring Head. According to what I have read the original heads made in France were very high quality. The head I have I bought several years ago at a price that seemed very good and the head was new in the box from another well known tool supplier (not Enco). It seemed that is was being surplussed out by a company that was going out of business, hence the good price. The other day I finally got around to taking a close look at it and putting it to use. Turns out it's a knock off of the Gamet head, no country of origin printed on it anywhere but I've read on this forum about some that were made in India. What crummy workmanship went into this thing! On the outside it looks great but inside the screw is bent, the ratchet that pins to the screw looks like it was carved rather than machined and has the cross drilled holes where it is pinned to the screw drilled twice, both times in the wrong place. The pawl for the release of the automatic feed looks like it was made on a bench grinder by a three year old. Well, not to offend three year olds, maybe not that good.
Since I already have money invested in this thing the only thing to do is try to "improve" it. I may contact the original marketer and see about buying the parts that are bad, but am concerned that replacements, if available, may be just as bad. I can make a new screw but the issue comes in that the screw head is a hex key type and I have no way to make that type head. (any suggestions would be welcome) I can make a new pawl as well but may just use the one I have since it works, for the time being.
On the plus side, during my search for instructions I learned that Enco was able to supply some and their customer service was very good. The original seller attempted to get instructions but was unable to supply them. Funny thing is that I've heard that the two are associated. Fortunately, another HSM member is sending me some pdf files of instructions too. Hopefully they will be better than the barely readable ones I already have.
The lesson from all this: Before I buy anything in tooling I will ask on this site fr opinions and get educated. Meanwhile, I have yet another project for my hobby, making parts for a knock off boring head.

tmbg
05-19-2011, 11:00 AM
If you decide to make that screw, you can make a socket head by rotary broaching. The tooling for that is megabux, but you can find stuff on ebay and/or make your own. I recall seeing someone's site who had made a rotary broach on a surface grinder and it worked well...

tmbg
05-19-2011, 11:01 AM
here you go:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/Tooling/BroachMaking/broachmaking.html

http://www.docsmachine.com/projects/rotarybroach/rb01.html

aboard_epsilon
05-19-2011, 12:09 PM
Recently I posted a request for instructions to a Gamet/Enco 222-1100 type Automatic Boring Head. According to what I have read the original heads made in France were very high quality. The head I have I bought several years ago at a price that seemed very good and the head was new in the box from another well known tool supplier (not Enco). It seemed that is was being surplussed out by a company that was going out of business, hence the good price. The other day I finally got around to taking a close look at it and putting it to use. Turns out it's a knock off of the Gamet head, no country of origin printed on it anywhere but I've read on this forum about some that were made in India. What crummy workmanship went into this thing! On the outside it looks great but inside the screw is bent, the ratchet that pins to the screw looks like it was carved rather than machined and has the cross drilled holes where it is pinned to the screw drilled twice, both times in the wrong place. The pawl for the release of the automatic feed looks like it was made on a bench grinder by a three year old. Well, not to offend three year olds, maybe not that good.
Since I already have money invested in this thing the only thing to do is try to "improve" it. I may contact the original marketer and see about buying the parts that are bad, but am concerned that replacements, if available, may be just as bad. I can make a new screw but the issue comes in that the screw head is a hex key type and I have no way to make that type head. (any suggestions would be welcome) I can make a new pawl as well but may just use the one I have since it works, for the time being.
On the plus side, during my search for instructions I learned that Enco was able to supply some and their customer service was very good. The original seller attempted to get instructions but was unable to supply them. Funny thing is that I've heard that the two are associated. Fortunately, another HSM member is sending me some pdf files of instructions too. Hopefully they will be better than the barely readable ones I already have.
The lesson from all this: Before I buy anything in tooling I will ask on this site fr opinions and get educated. Meanwhile, I have yet another project for my hobby, making parts for a knock off boring head.

How about some pics of these parts ..so we can all have a laugh.

maybe the screw can be replaced with something else

i brought this old chuck back to life with these

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/aboard_epsilon/chuck/chuck4.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/aboard_epsilon/chuck/chuck3.jpg

after as good as new

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/aboard_epsilon/chuck/chuck1.jpg

broken one beside a machined new one

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/aboard_epsilon/chuck/chuck7.jpg

all the best.markj

Arthur.Marks
05-19-2011, 12:22 PM
May I ask if this is the "Vertex" branded Wolhaupter knock-off?

JCHannum
05-19-2011, 12:45 PM
I know nothing of the Vertex/Wolhaupter boring head, but am quite familiar with the Indian version of the Gamet boring head. The Gamet and Wolhaupter heads are quite different in design and construction.

ENCO originally imported and rebadged the Gamet head and they were very good heads. If I recall, they lacked some of the Gamet features but were still excellent quality. Fast forward a couple of years and ENCO switched to the Indian knock off of the Gamet, which is almost totally unuseable.

It might be possible to remanufacture it into a workable head, but it would be quite a project.

jugs
05-19-2011, 01:45 PM
The head I have I bought several years ago at a price that seemed very good and the head was new in the box from another well known tool supplier (not Enco). It seemed that is was being surplussed out by a company that was going out of business, hence the good price.
quote]

now you know the reason for the "good price"

[quote]
The pawl for the release of the automatic feed looks like it was made on a bench grinder by a three year old.


Sadly, It probably was,
they start in the sweat shops from 3yrs, by the age of 5 they can be doing 10 hr shifts, but hey - thats what gives us cheap goods & makes bankers rich. :mad:

Nothing much has changed since Dickens, except the squaller has been moved offshore :mad:

john
:)

Arthur.Marks
05-19-2011, 02:06 PM
The Gamet and Wolhaupter heads are quite different in design and construction.
Thanks, I didn't know that. I've seen pictures of both, but I never really looked that close.

Mike Hunter
05-19-2011, 02:53 PM
On the bright side, the manufacturer is no longer making boring heads... now they are making toasters.

I feel your pain, I've been so disgusted by cheap quality...now I save my ducketes and buy quality.

Just placed an order with Enco, spent 3 x the import price to get a Starrett, but I want it to work the first time, everytime, for always.

V/R

Mike

Dr Stan
05-19-2011, 03:16 PM
Just placed an order with Enco, spent 3 x the import price to get a Starrett, but I want it to work the first time, everytime, for always.

Check your tool very carefully for country of origin when it arrives as Starrett has offshored at least some of its manufacturing to China.

jugs
05-19-2011, 04:58 PM
Check your tool very carefully for country of origin when it arrives as Starrett has offshored at least some of its manufacturing to China.

I always check my tool very carefully, before, during & after use, occasionally the tip needs rubbing with a stone to clean crud off.

Still works well after yrs of use, made in UK.

john
:)

Arcane
05-19-2011, 08:23 PM
I always check my tool very carefully, before, during & after use, occasionally the tip needs rubbing with a stone to clean crud off.

Still works well after yrs of use, made in UK.

john
:)

I hire that job out...no DIY here, eh? :D

wierdscience
05-19-2011, 08:30 PM
Check your tool very carefully for country of origin when it arrives as Starrett has offshored at least some of its manufacturing to China.

Yup,lots of Starrett stuff is being made in China,holesaws come to mind.

Pretty soon the quality of a product won't be an issue,there won't be any quality products to choose.:(

Deus Machina
05-20-2011, 05:17 AM
The only country I absolutely refuse to buy from is India. I have never gotten any quality out of an Indian tool, and can only claim "getting what I paid for" on a couple things I got on clearance for pennies on the dollar, fully expecting them to last only a few rounds.

Outside of my Craftsmen and Kobalt hand tools, my best tools are, surprisingly, from China. They are fully capable of doing a good job, if they're supplied with good materials and workers. Some companies actually do that, when they can be bothered to.

Everything I've ever gotten from the UK has developed wiring problems or oil leaks, which is impressive when I've never personally owned a British vehicle. ;)

jugs
05-20-2011, 05:52 AM
Recently I got a usb x200 microscope (webcam+macro lens) NOT a lab unit but just right for the job I wanted, from Hong Kong via ebay - 26 inc p&p.

My local computer store (8 fuel away) sells the same identical unit in identical box (but with a British flag sticker) for 99.95, and another company is doing it for 89 +p&p +20% vat :eek: .

So who's the ripoff merchant then ????


NOT the Chinese


john
:)

Deus Machina
05-20-2011, 06:48 AM
The thing with that, though, as that these eBay- and Hong-Kong based companies often offer an identical-looking item in identical-looking package (even stamping them with name-brand labels, in a couple cases I've seen) but are making them out of zinc, whatever other flavor of potmetal is cheap that day because it gets the most voids, or plastic when something should be aluminum, and so forth.

It's like buying that 'Rolex' out of someone's ratty old suitcase and finding your wrist turning green next week. It's a complete fraud.

Heck, I know a guy I used to play paintball with that bought a handful of barrels, valves, and regulators from one of those companies, which actually did appear to be made on the same assembly line as what they were labelled ass--and every last one of them had chipped or missing chrome, chattered bore marks where an O-ring needed to ride, buggered threads, missing threads in the case of one barrel, a bent shaft in one regulator and completely missing spring pack and piston in another.

They (probably) were made in the right factory, but looked to have been stuffed in some QC-worker's pockets on the way out or pulled out of the dumpster.

In the rare case I've seen one of those mass-sellers sell anything that was actually better than--and I'm saying this generously--'factory seconds', it's priced so low they had to be making literally pennies on the sale.

PixMan
05-20-2011, 07:49 AM
At least the Starrett stuff made in China is made in a factory owned by and controlled by them, and its pretty good. That's different than the true junk imported and re-labeled by Fowler.

If you have a Starrett Catalog 31B, that was the last one which had the "flag" for US-made and a "globe" for off-shore made for each item. The newer Catalog 32 eliminated that, and they have been getting a LOT of push-back about that. Keep it up.

OTOH, if you'd ever seen some of the antiquated, labor-intensive ways that they make stuff in Athol, you could understand why they've moved the really high-volume, low-margin stuff to China. They probably still do a lot of hand-finishing work on some tools., so they might-as-well find cheaper hands.

I just wish they'd invested more in modernizing the facilities and processes here first.