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browne92
06-14-2012, 12:46 PM
I've been around this stuff for a long time (though I wish I had found this forum sooner), back to the days of the rcm newgroups. As long as I've been follow this, there have been 2 long standing opinions that come out in various forms and fashions:

1. Worn machines are junk.
2. Chinese machines are junk.

My story: Home shop sized machines are rare here. Extremely rare. About 20 years ago, I picked up an old SB 9. Don't remember what I paid ($1500?), but it was probably too much. But I was glad to have found it. It has a lot of bed wear near the headstock, but I make things with it. I've made press fit bushings with it, which is about as precise as I'll ever need to get. I've done some threading on it. Some milling. It does what I need. But I'm not a production shop. I'm a hack making parts for a 40 year old Formula Vee.

I've been looking for a small mill since I went to leisure learning classes 25 years ago. Watching the paper, auctions, estate sales, ebay. Nothing locally. I can't see spending 3 days each direction driving, fuel, lodging, and a week's vacation to pick up a bench top mill.

Last January I turned 50. Not sure why, but that number rang in my head really loud. So I sent $3500 to Enco, and they dropped a square column mill on my door step. Set it on the stand, oiled it, and started cutting. Again, I'm just a hack with a squirt bottle of cutting oil in one hand and a Miller High Life in the other. It does what I want (except, of course, the stuff I haven't bought/built tooling for).

So I guess it hits me wrong when I hear someone say "If it has bed wear, pass on it". It'll still cut metal. Maybe not as precisely as you would like, but for someone who just wants to get his hands dirty and make some swarf and get away from the SO for a few hours, it might be precise enough. Besides, how'd the wear get there to begin with? Probably in a production environment. Probably making precision parts. It's not like someone forgot to oil it one day, and woke up the next morning with wear on the bed. Personally, I'd be more worried with headstock bearings than bed wear, but that's just me.

Same goes with chinese machines. I haven't had to work on it to use it. It's good enough for me.

Sure, I'd love to have fresh scraped American iron. Not going to happen. And I'll guess it won't happen for a lot HSM's.

I would have hated to miss out on the last 20 years of metal cutting because I passed on a worn machine. I guess my point is, don't shut someone completely down on something until you find out what they are trying to accomplish. Maybe they're just a hack... like me.

Mcgyver
06-14-2012, 01:28 PM
where's here?

I'm not 100% sure of the point of this, but i'll try and type some stuff maybe not same as the rest of the 20 year debate

Each buyer picks his position, almost always a compromise, with the axis being quality/accuracy of the machine tool, how much you're willing to spend, how much effort/work you're willing to put into it. It's each buyer's choice where that is for them and therefore can't be wrong (for them)

The debate comes in on the reasoning beyond where they see themselves on each axis and how true or false it is. As few take machines apart, quantify fit and errors, blue them, scrape them etc imo there is a lot of ignorance out there on what makes a machine tool good. I've tons to learn, but realize looking back I didn't have a clue about what quality in a machine tool meant until I started recondition them.

I'm a supporter of "it's all good", IF you get what you want. Your hit y our coordinates in my imagery 3d machine buying continuum....but it isn't 'all good' when reality is a very different than where they were shooting for. It's my opinion this is more likely with machines made to a price point than function. I think on lots of the low priced ones don't end up meeting expectations and that chases away potential new ranks to the hobby. It took reconditioning a bunch of them to have the real quantifiable why's behind that statement.


So I guess it hits me wrong when I hear someone say "If it has bed wear, pass on it".

nothing you read here should be considered anything but a random collection of words UNLESS it meets at least a couple of the following. 1) you have a sense of the speakers credibility 2) you understand their reasons for saying it (we each say things that might sound very different but each might be valid given the context) 3) it resonates with your own experience, ie passes the smell test an 4) you can verify it somewhere.

My point is "If it has bed wear, pass on it" could be completely valid or hogwash depending. How much bed wear, why are they saying it, what's their experience level, what's the intended use, what other options are out there, what's the price, what's the budget, how much tooling is there, is that make/model of lathe worth reconditioning, does the person want to recondition etc. etc

oddball racing
06-14-2012, 01:53 PM
I couldn't have put it any better myself. I it is worn out and you can still make parts with it, how can one call it worn out.

My current stable consists of SB 9A 1942 war board, 1960 Bridgy called a parts machine when I bought it (seems to work fine to me) a 1922 dalton which I really like, 1898 yes 1898 Hendey/Norton universal mill (thrown out by previous owner), a 1952 SB13 which is very worn headstock wise, But as long as I watch my DOC it works fine for me and a $55 craftsman 109 (which seems to be junk when it was new:) ) My drill press is the oldest Delta I have ever seen. Also thrown out by previous owner.
I also have a very old Deta grinding station and some other ancient crafsman power tools, so old the factory color was Blue. think 40s or 50s on those.

All those tools were dragged home and put right to work. I can hold a thousandth with any one of them provided I pay attention. That is the most difficult part for me. :)
My total investment in that whole list is less than a thousand dollars, of which I paid $520 for the little SB.

Besides being a self described hack, I also make a dollar a minute when making something for any one who wants to be a customer. (=$60 and hour no minimum) with no complaints there either.
What more could I ask for? I enjoy using the old clapped out machines as people are amazed at the work I can make them do. That feeling itself gives me a very high level of self gratification.

Plain and simple, those who condem these tools, have apparently never experienced making do with what they have.
Mike

JRouche
06-14-2012, 02:02 PM
I have three mills. An Enco square column (like yers but getting converted to cnc), a Bridgeport cnc and a Hardinge horizontal. I love them ALL!! You know why? Well 20 years ago I was using a belt sander to shape metal. Then a year or two later I bought a 20" harbor freight drill press along with an X-Y table and some end mills. I was HAPPY!! Then a couple years go by and I got a Smithy clone (3-in-1 mill, drill and lathe), again, HAPPY!! Then more years and the South Bend came home, then the Bridgeport, a Emco 120 found the door as well as the Monarch. And as the story goes on machines come in and machines go out. I LOVE, yes, I said love my machines. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Plain and simple, you gotta be happy with what you have until you can find something else. But until that something else grows legs and steps into your shop its ALWAYS better to enjoy what ya got :D

Sounds like you do!!! JR

firbikrhd1
06-14-2012, 11:42 PM
I've wanted a lathe since I was 14 when my Dad took me to a machine shop to get a Briggs & Stratton crankshaft turned down to fit a washing machine clutch for a home made mini bike. After that my first "lathe" was an electric drill and a bench grinder. Not too accurate but it was all I had and really all I could consider until I was well into my 30s and had enough expendable income to buy a 1943 Logan lathe owned by a man my Dad met after he retired to NC. I paid $500 for it sight unseen and drove up to get it. Any lathe is better than no lathe and a worn lathe can be compensated for in many instances. If it does what you need it to do it's good enough. When it ceases to have the ability to make parts accurately enough for your purposes look for less worn or new machine. Few of us here have the need to turn parts to the nearest .0001", even if we enjoy making the attempt.

J Tiers
06-15-2012, 12:06 AM
yeah.....

If I may, without seeming to jump on anyone in particular..... It seems that the "if there is wear, pass" folks are *mostly* (not all) either the fairly new folks, or people who appear to have 3 years experience, repeated 10 times.... Folks who have never calculated what actual problem in terms of error that 5 thou of wear will produce.

A few are just trying to save the new folks trouble and frustration, and that's perfectly fair.

A few are looking at it as a case of buy it, and expect to use it as-is without problems.... and that is perfectly fair also, if perhaps unrealistic both for used AND for at least some chinese.

That said, I know people who have relatively inexpensive chinese round column bed mills (no knee) and use them with great success.... And folks with larger JET lathes and B-P clones who make a quite decent living using them.

Most all my stuff is used, in some cases VERY used, and I have no problem re-conditioning it, IF the piece is worth it, OR I feel like doing the work. Not all are like that.

OK, I DO have a point..... which is that either can be correct in a given situation. The case may call for a new machine to avoid the NEED to re-condition, OR the case may call for a fixer-upper in order to let "sweat equity" bring a machine to the point of performance which money could not reach.
Finally, the person may just be onry enough to recondition a machine "just because", in which case all the opinions can go hang. ;) :D

Basically the arguments come when one person projects their needs and opinions onto another, and expects that other person to be just like them, with the same goals, wants, resources, skills, or whatever.

dp
06-15-2012, 12:52 AM
In your two examples of common claims there are two conveyances of thought behind them. One is simple prejudice - no attempt at rationalizing the claim - it just is.

In the second you have an attempt at shared wisdom - it is true of course that a worn out machine cannot do the quality of work of a new one. The wisdom part can actually come with justification. A clapped out machine may be beyond justifiable rehabilitation, or it may be a project machine restored for the experience of restoring a machine and not so much because the restored machine will have great value in your shop when completed.

There is no honest way to make the general claim that Chinese machines are crap. Anyone who does so is sharing their prejudices. That is not to say that particular brands or even examples from within brands made in China are not crap, but that can be said about junk no matter where it is made. The standing advice for centuries has been and always will be "buyer beware".

As to how to react to such claims, friends are people we know well but like anyway. Even when they make unsupportable claims. This place is no exception. If you feel compelled to "refudiate" what you read then be of good cheer and expect nothing to change for your effort.

flylo
06-15-2012, 01:22 AM
I still think it's 80% machinist/ 20% machine as it is with most things in life. Look at what they produce in 3rd world places with almost nothing.

legendboy
06-15-2012, 01:50 AM
this is what i started with

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/shackner/lathe/3.jpg

figured i was doing pretty good at first, couple years later i couldn't stand to even look at it lol

lucked out on this beauty. this is what it looked like when i first got it home.
the bed looked pretty beat but the price was right

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/shackner/SM%20Lathe.jpg

few years later she looks like this

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/shackner/Standard%20Modern%20Lathe/sm%202012.jpg

I love her and she loves me. It will hold a thou over 4" depending on how hard i squeeze the calipers :D

RoyClemens
06-15-2012, 03:29 AM
browne92....amen. I don't claim to be a machinist, but I am of the opinion that worn/junk machines will teach you more about machine work quicker than the finest of the fine. The first lathe I ever ran would make almost anyone who knows anything about machine work cringe. My self included at this point. But I made chips and mistakes and I learned about overhangs, backlash, rigidity, and a host of other other topics. I would have learned the same things on a nicer machine, but I can't imagine that it would have been as fast. I really haven't moved up the machine tool ladder a lot, but I have moved up in skill a bunch. While I envey a lot of the machines that show up in the pictues on this bbs if I had to buy them I would not do any machine work and would not learn anything. and that would be bad. Besides, if you started with the perfect machine what are you going to blame your mistakes on:D

Forrest Addy
06-15-2012, 07:04 AM
I'm a hellova machinist -or I was before rocking chair got me. I get better in my youth as time passes and my witnesses die off. Sooner or later I used to leap tall buildings with a single bound.

My classmates and I served our apprenticeships on worn-out machines. The journeymen hung onto the best ones and that was the way it was. As an apprentice I had access to endless top quality mentoring. Isolated home shop guys may as well live on Jupiter.

The OP is right. You can get good results from a worn machine but "worn" covers a lot of territory that needs some discussion. There is "worn" like an older maching well maintained and there "worn" where a rusting machine tool having missing and damaged important parts is rescued from a bramble patch.

Often noobs in home shops have to follow books of sketchy instruction and re-invent the wheel every few minutes to make even a little progress. I can't think of disillusionment and discoruagement deeper for a would-be machinist than to try to make good stuff by battling the faults of a worn out machine tool. The guy hasn't a chance. His purchase decision was based on bad advice a know-it-all industrial Jingoist. He bought a junker; once one of the primier brands but after 50 years of hard use and neglect when it came into his hands it was a candidate for the foundry ladle. He doesn't know the tweaks and tricks for working with worn machines and by not knowing whether the trouble is up his sleeve or with the machine he sees himself a failure. He's spent money and time all he got out of the investment frustrated. Put the same guy on a machine that's at least tight and he'll have a fighting chance.

Several years ago, I spent a couple of days of email and hours on the phone with a guy who was trying to make new leadscrews. He had a junky SB9, no experiece, and no follow rest. If he had a better quality import machine he would have the follow rest and a reasonably straight machine to work with.

The above is my reasoning for encouraging home shop noobs to consider new Asian imports and steer them away from really worn-out American iron and ignore self-appointed experts full of principled nonsense. The import machine is at least predictable and comes in a well equipped package. So "worn" covers a wise spectrum of deficieency. If a guy can firmly wiggle the carriage or the cross slide and oil pumps in and out to the dovetails you can bet there is a problem.

Some older machines may be jewels in the rough and that's the kind of "worn" to take a chance on. An older machine tool missing ANY essential part no matter how otherwise pristine it may be is something to walk away from as are lathes found in a field, rusting in a shed, etc. Machine tools are not kitties or puppies. They are no-nonsense industrial equipment undeserving of sentiment or affection. They are a means to an end.

Buy no machine tool unless you or someone knowledgable surveys it. BTW a "survey" is a comprehensive and systematic series of tests and inspections taking several hours. It is not casual look-over accompanied by cranking the handwheels and shifting a few gears.

John Stevenson
06-15-2012, 08:49 AM
Buy no machine tool unless you or someone knowledgable surveys it. BTW a "survey" is a comprehensive and systematic series of tests and inspections taking several hours. It is not casual look-over accompanied by cranking the handwheels and shifting a few gears.

Damn................................wish I had known this 50 years ago. :(

J Tiers
06-15-2012, 09:19 AM
If a guy can firmly wiggle the carriage or the cross slide and oil pumps in and out to the dovetails you can bet there is a problem.


But WHAT problem.......? Is it "worn out"? Some folks would say that proves it IS "worn out".

I have seen people turn down a machine for just that sort of problem..... And after I bought it, I adjusted the gib a little and all was well.........

Which one of us was stupid?




Machine tools ..................... They are no-nonsense industrial equipment undeserving of sentiment or affection. They are a means to an end.


Quite true..... but the opinion tends to change a little after you have either:

1) used the machine enough to know its oddities and know how to get high quality work out of it.

or

2) Spent some serious time on a quality rebuild

HWooldridge
06-15-2012, 10:22 AM
Machine tools are hard to find in Central Texas - most of the available ones are too big for home shop use. Fortunately for me, I have always worked in manufacturing so come across "deals" from time to time.

My first lathe was purchased from my cousin, who was a machinist at Kelly AFB in San Antonio and did gunsmithing on the side. It was a Sheldon 10x24 that he had purchased from Air Force surplus sales in the 1970's and put a tail stock extension on to thread barrels. It had some wear on it by the time I got it but it was a good learner lathe. I kept it for a long time and eventually sold it to another HSM a couple years ago.

A few years after that, I picked up two old but cherry Bridgeports from a company I worked for at the time. They had been in the maintenance departments and had little use. I sold one and kept the other - it's still in the shop and works a charm.

Later on, I started working for a company who did production machining and got to see what brand new machines will do. A year or so into my tenure there, management decided to get rid of an old 1963 Clausing because an operator crashed it and they chose not to rebuild the drive train. I got it for almost nothing and hauled it home then did the research to find an HSM in Washington state who was able and willing to fab the broken parts for me. That same company later picked up an older Jet that was in very good shape which had been in another shop they acquired so they let me buy that one also because it was an oddball for their production shop. Both of these lathes and the mill reside in my current home shop...but what I just described above took 30 years to transpire so I'm nothing if not patient.

Sometimes you just have to earmark the money and resign yourself to waiting for the right thing to come along.

Bob Fisher
06-15-2012, 05:16 PM
Any lathe or mill is better than none! Even HF's 7X10 will let you make a simple bushing to some degree of accuracy. Lots of the stuff we make is not very high tolerance and we don't need a Hardinge to make it. Bob.

Forrest Addy
06-15-2012, 06:04 PM
But WHAT problem.......? Is it "worn out"? Some folks would say that proves it IS "worn out".

I have seen people turn down a machine for just that sort of problem..... And after I bought it, I adjusted the gib a little and all was well.........

Which one of us was stupid?




Quite true..... but the opinion tends to change a little after you have either:

1) used the machine enough to know its oddities and know how to get high quality work out of it.

or

2) Spent some serious time on a quality rebuild

Having a bad day, Jerry?

mrriggs
06-15-2012, 08:08 PM
One lesson I learned the hard way is that a machine tool is worthless without tooling. When I bought my first lathe, it was in great condition and cost several hundred less than others I had seen advertised. Sure it didn't have much tooling but you can just pick that stuff up when you need it. :rolleyes: I have since paid several times more for the tooling than I did for the lathe.

When I bought my second lathe, it was clapped out in every sense of the term. It however did come with lots of tooling. I did the math and figured that I could sell off the tooling alone (even at half of what other sellers were asking) and make my money back. I decided to take a change on the machine and was pleasently surprised that, even in it's condition, it was able to make my parts to the desired tolerance. It's already made enough parts to pay for itself so I'll just continue to run it until it can no longer meet my needs. By then it should have made enough money to pay for it's replacement.

J Tiers
06-15-2012, 10:40 PM
Having a bad day, Jerry?

?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????:confused:

What part of that post suggests a bad day?

The point being that looking at one item is not the same thing as the survey which you recommend, and which is the "right" way to go about it.....

Unfortunately, trying to do a survey when buying a machine will instantly make you a "tire kicker', and would get you escorted out of my place..... not because i disagree with the idea, but because I am not patient enough to wait..... while the "survey" person is piddling about, someone else is likely to buy it, and haul it away..... the "surveyor" will need to grab their indicators etc or the buyer will haul them away with the machine.

So, one must make a decision more quickly, with incomplete information, like every other decision in life.

The guy who turned down the machine for "bad wear" got the horse laugh, because the "wear" was merely poor adjustment.


As for the other, once you have a good deal of yourself "invested" in a machine, either in actual work bringing it to your ideal performance, or learning it well enough to get every bit of performance from it, you probably are much less inclined to "pull a Tiffie" and "BIN IT" without very strong cause.
Inanimate it is, but it has some of you in it.

Now if it's an old POS being replaced, and I can toss the shims and wedges out, that is a different matter....

oldtiffie
06-15-2012, 10:58 PM
If some who may be starry-eyed worked to realistic tolerances instead of "tenths and microns" they may well find that "worn out, no good" machine is not so bad at all.

If I have to work between limits of say +/- 0.001" or even +/- 0.0005" I can do it but before I do I go back over the job and see if the tolerences/limits can be widened which they can quite often be as a look at the "Tolerance/Limits and Fits" tables will soon show.

From my point of view there is no reason to make stuff "better" or "tighter" or better finished than its use or application required. I don't make show-pieces - just stuff that will do the job and which after its job is done may be reduced to the material pile or scrap.

Carld
06-15-2012, 11:58 PM
I think what Forrest was meaning is a beginner machinist should have an experienced machinist go with him to look at and help buy a machine. I think any mill or lathe with reasonable wear is a serviceable machine. The problem is you have to have some experience with machinery to render an opinion as to it's serviceability. I don't think any reputable dealer would sell a machine someone was looking at to someone else that just walked it. If they did then maybe it's a good idea you found out about their ethics before you bought something from them.

As others said, almost any lathe is better than none but it's nice to have one that is not beyond hope.

mike4
06-16-2012, 12:23 AM
Damn................................wish I had known this 50 years ago. :(
And I thought that you just looked for the ones with the shiny paint
Michael

J Tiers
06-16-2012, 01:45 AM
I don't think any reputable dealer would sell a machine someone was looking at to someone else that just walked it.

I would, and I'd DO it, too...... if the party of the first part was 'tire-kicking" and measuring, fussing, etc.

The old MerMac site had a wonderful section called "in defense of klunkers"... That gives the argument and information far better than I can, and if you can find it preserved somewhere, read it.

Every machine I have bought took me no longer than 10 minutes to decide yeah or nay on..... If you can NOT do it within that time, then GO HOME, and take up knitting, or mah-jongg! Yes, this is harsh.... but one thing I have learned is to "GET OFF THE DIME". You need to be able to recognize the deal and grab it or leave.

The basic skill does not really require being a machinist..... a lot of it is whether teh machine has been used,recently, where it is, what the wear that is visible looks like, evidence of how it was used, if available, etc, etc. And I do look at the machine carefully, looking for missing stuff, extras, wear, looseness (where and of what character), etc.

My secret is to research the next type of machine I want, if it is one I am not familiar with.... If I AM familiar with it, I know what to shake, what to look for, from using the machine I already have.

if I am confronted with a machine I don't know about, then I may not need it yet, or I would have done some checking-up. So I get more fussy.

And, of course, I use the info from the Mermac site in my short time checkup system.

But I WILL NOT waste folks time with indicators or a "quickie RDM" or other nonsense.... Folks who want to do that when I sell something get quickly told that if that's what they need, this machine is not suitable for them.

And I mean it... those folks should buy new, with a guarantee / warranty ....... and good luck to the seller, they will need it too.

I EXPECT to find something wrong with ANY machine, new or used...... and I usually can. Ain't no perfection in this here world, get used to it, deal with it.

As for taking a machinist along..... That can be useful for the total newbie, to prevent buying unworkable junk.... like an AA/109*..... or to prevent paying way too much. But ANYONE who is helping out in this way has to be ultra-conservative about what they say is GOOD... because they will be stuck with the results.

Consequently, since it is easier to say "no" than "yes", advice given will probably be NOT to buy more than "go ahead".... it's safer.. So, proceed at your own risk in that direction.

Here is a case for good old personal responsibility, just like is being trumpeted by certain political parties all over the world..... it's YOUR decision, make it, and live with it.

* As for the 109..... I think ANYONE who wants a home shop should be FORCED to use a 109 for a while ;) ..... Either they will learn a heck of a lot, OR they will give up and take up cards.... After a proficiency test ;) , then they get a "license" to buy more machines......

After that experience, they will know JUST what to look for, and why...... :D

oldtiffie
06-16-2012, 02:11 AM
JT.

Here are some details on the AA109 lathe (not flight AA-109):

http://www.deansphotographica.com/machining/projects/109/109a.html

http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&rlz=1W1IRFC_enAU360&sclient=psy-ab&q=AA%2F109&rlz=1W1IRFC_enAU360&oq=AA%2F109&aq=f&aqi=g-C4&aql=&gs_l=hp.12..0i33l4.0.0.1.909.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0. ..0.0.rOCamVi6mJ8&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=c0ba19284add315e&biw=1920&bih=818

John Stevenson
06-16-2012, 05:29 AM
And I thought that you just looked for the ones with the shiny paint
Michael

I do,

Just that I have never found one yet :D

That TOS that just hit the scrapyard was a prime example, bought at about 15 years old for a local gear making company in Nottingham for 1500 plus 80 hiab delivery.

Had a decent life but like all industrial machines it suffered paint wise. Often though about giving it a clean up but that would have entailed lost time more valuable than the 1500 it cost.

End of the day I guessed it's next life would probably be scrap, 10 foot long, weighed 2.5 tonnes and required 3 phase to run it.
Not many garden sheds in the UK could handle this.

Did it earn it's keep ? Oh yes and more.

Would it have earned more with a coat of paint ? No way.

Will the little TOS get scrapped? Unless something really horrible happens then no, it's of a size that can be handled easily, run on normal mains electric and fit into many workshops.

Forrest Addy
06-16-2012, 07:31 AM
Jerry, I'm a litle curious. You seem to feel a third party entering your shop to evaluate a machine you hope to sell is some how an insult. Did I get that right?

Between 1996 and 2005 I conducted machine tool surveys for insurance brokers, bank loans, prospective buyers, but most were candidates for retrofit. I inspected and reported on maybe a couple dozen machine tools often working with an electronics guy who looked at stuff with wires hooked to it. Most shop management were a little impatient with a stranger on the floor but they understood the necessity and cooperated. I've never been denied access. I'm experienced in industry. I know the safety rules, have my own PPE, fetch all my own equipment, and I like to think I'm diplomatic. I observed the courtesies: I paved the way in working shops with a letter followed by a phone call to set a date. More than a few of ny srurveys were at shops gone out of business leaving most of the equipment in place.

Look at it this way: would you spend $10K, $100K, $1M on a used machine based on a verbal from an interested party or would you rather spend $400+ and get a disinterested expert inspection that documented all accessible mechanical fauits and etimated wear? For that matter would you as a home shop machinist spend $500 for a machine tool without first conducting a close examination? DO you buy a car without driving it around the block? Do you buy a melon without thumping it? I know many don't but buying a pig in a poke runs counter to my upbringing and technical training. Put another way, I ALWAYS look a gift horse etc.

All but two of the machines I surveyed were idle at the time and the others I came back by appointment. No big deal. Are things different in Iowa? I'm not challenging you. I just wondered if there was a different culture.

Carld
06-16-2012, 10:52 AM
Well J Tiers, all I can say is your not very ethical. An ethical seller or dealer would ask the person looking at something, "I have a buyer that just came in, are you going to buy the machine and if not he wants it now".

I have went to look at stuff that turned into a bidding war when the original price was in the advertisement and I turned and left. I have also went to look at stuff where the seller said I had to take my turn as others were in line before me so I waited my turn.

To me it's unethical to sell something while another buyer is looking and I believe in giving them at least 15 minutes to decide. I also don't think it's ethical to have a bidding war for something that has an advertised price.

To me ethics is much like the golden rule. I always ask myself how would I like to be treated and try to carry that in my dealings with others. If you don't mind being taken advantage of then by all means take advantage of others, which is, in fact, an example of the golden rule on the negative side.

Another rule says, "what goes around, comes around", you get back in life what you put out.

I really don't understand why you feel the need to treat people the way you say you do in your post. To me it's not the gentlemanly thing to do.

J Tiers
06-16-2012, 11:47 AM
Apparently it is a standard thing elsewhere to take hours evaluating a $500 lathe...... All I can say is that it don't fly here.

Not with me, and not with anyone else I have ever dealt with.


Well J Tiers, all I can say is your not very ethical. An ethical seller or dealer would ask the person looking at something, "I have a buyer that just came in, are you going to buy the machine and if not he wants it now".

To me it's unethical to sell something while another buyer is looking and I believe in giving them at least 15 minutes to decide. I also don't think it's ethical to have a bidding war for something that has an advertised price.


I really don't understand why you feel the need to treat people the way you say you do in your post. To me it's not the gentlemanly thing to do.

Well Mr CarlD........



If you were to buy from me, you would not think what you wrote....

15 minutes is fine..... I said 10, but whatever.

AS you *should* KNOW from reading what I wrote, I refer to idiots who are still there fiddling 30 minutes later.... getting zero information, and looking at all the wrong things, wasting time while other actual serious prospects get tired and drive away.

I would INDEED throw them out and sell to another.... Just tell tehm "time's up, do you want it, or not?" And I'd hope "not".....For one thing, I KNOW it's a good chance they would be back with the machine in a day, or a week, or a month, trying to return it for a problem I TOLD them it had..... or something they broke and want to blame on me. I have had it happen, and I don't need that either. (that behavior is not *ethical*)

For another, that sort are a danger to themselves, they may have read in a book what to do, but never did it.... I don't want the liability, I'm just selling surplus stuff, not making a profit.

I tell buyers what problems I know about, and let any *intelligent* person look it over as much as they want, if they can make a decision in a decent time. I'm not selling 100 ton bed mills, it's just basement size machines I don't need anymore, for a good price. Shouldn't take long.

I'll even help a person MAKE a sensible test if they want to...... the checks should not take over 10 or 15 min for a used machine. it's IDIOTS and tire-kickers I don't deal with.

I have refused to sell to people who told me what they wanted to do........I told them it won't do that.... you need a different machine.

There is ethics, and there is ethics.... it isn't ethical or decent to come and tire-kick for an hour....... and it isn't ethical to sell to someone when you have other folks with appointments coming to look. But If a prior looker buys, and I have a phone number, I'll call the "second in line" folks and tell them it's sold.

It's perfectly ethical to force the tire-kicker to decide when you have a "line" waiting. ( or if they are still there fiddling when it's your dinner-time, etc, etc)

Your opinion is yours, and welcome to it..... :rolleyes:


JT.

Here are some details on the AA109 lathe (not flight AA-109):


Sorry, Tiffie, there is NOTHING you can tell me about a 109...... I had one for a year or two.......... I've seen it all, had it apart to fix, used it a lot, "improved" it some.............


Jerry, I'm a litle curious. You seem to feel a third party entering your shop to evaluate a machine you hope to sell is some how an insult. Did I get that right?

No, I would say that it would be difficult for you to get anything more wrong, unless you habitually put out fires with gasoline, or consider flapping your arms to be time travel....;)

I am NOT a dealer, I am NOT representing the machine to be in perfect condition, I am selling at an attractive price, and I will cheerfully tell ANY prospective buyer what problems I know about. I have told people that they shouldn't buy what I am selling because it won't do what they want.

I am NOT charging like a dealer would (3 to 6x the going rate for private sales), and I just don't need it.

There is always someone else who DOES want the machine, and isn't going to nit pick it. The nit pickers in my world (non-industrial sales) mostly don't have a clue in any case, and measure the wrong things in the wrong way, so their results are worthless. All they do is waste time, and then decide not to buy because there is a "bent spindle"..... or "bad bearings".... the two big hot buttons for the truly clueless newbie.... (even if the bearings are new, and the spindle perfect.)

Forrest Addy
06-16-2012, 02:01 PM
AH! I see the trouble:

My words "BTW a 'survey' is a comprehensive and systematic series of tests and inspections taking several hours."

I shoulda said "may take" instead of "taking".

To the absolutist "taking" becomes a mandate. An absolutist never parses a general statement. The tools and rules used to run a model train set are strictly applied to a national railroad and if something doesn't work it cannot possibly be fixed and the fault is strictly contra proferentum.

Seriously, The early days of Al Babin and clones still resonate. We here know Jerry Tiers is an honest man but why would a stranger aware of the deceptions of an Al Babin trust anyone selling a machine tool? We in the trade produce some stuff on which lives depend. Third party inspection is the norm. Why should a used machine tool be any different?

Sorry, an interested party's say so is not enough. You may fairly and honestly describe the machine you're selling but you're in the minority. Most sellers (and buyers! I could tell you a story) gild the lilly a little and a few are downright crooks. How does a stranger differentiate? He HAS to inspect the goods.

Carld
06-16-2012, 02:38 PM
JT, the only thing I have an issue with is selling a machine to someone else while another is looking at it and no, they shouldn't need hours inspecting it. Also, I didn't call you a cheating, lying thief. As I said, the courteous thing is to tell them you have a buyer, are you ready to buy and if not I am selling it to someone else. That to me is ethical behavior.

I also agree that anything over 15 minutes of looking is a waste of everyone's time but I do like to let them think about it a while. If I had a business place selling machines I wouldn't care how long they looked at it until another buyer came along or closing time. At that point they have to make a decision.

When I am selling something and no other buyers are there I will let them look at it for a reasonable time before telling them it's time to leave. If other buyers are present and looking at it, each get to buy it in the order they arrived. I don't care how many are looking, each get a buy/refusal in order of arrival.

I have no doubt that you will represent the machines as they are and tell any issues they have, but that is not what I was referring to. JT, your taking this as an insult to your reputation and it's not. It's a discussion of how to treat customers. When I was in business how I treated a customer was a live or die situation. I always tried to err on the side of the customer. When I was employed as a shop foreman I ALWAYS gave the customer info and time to decide because my job and his satisfaction demanded it.

I have no less admiration of you now than before this thread. Just consider it as a discussion of customer ethics, not representation of the stuff your selling. When selling something my ethics demand me to give a buyer a fair deal, meaning reasonable time to look and to counter offer without interference from another buyer.

J Tiers
06-16-2012, 07:57 PM
Post duly edited......

I guess I didn't "get" the intent of the posts.....

I know it needn't take hours, and I'm not so much of an absolutist.....

And, I agree about treating customers right..... but customers need to treat the seller or businessman right also.... A certain number of customers are working scams, for whatever reason, usually trying to get something for less, or nothing...... "renting" the product by a "purchase with intent to return", returning it after the one use they needed it for. That's a popular one, especially for generators when there is a several day power outage.....

Those things are not ethical. it isn't ethical to tire-kick for hours, and it isn't ethical to fish for non-existent verbal "guarantees" when buying a piece of used equipment..... Some folks try to treat the item as if it were new with a warranty.... they will try for verbal guarantees prior to purchase, or just lie and say it was guaranteed.

So..... someone who takes a long time to look at a simple device, and asks a lot of fussy questions is raising red trouble flags for me....

What they are usually fishing for is something sounding like a guarantee, which they will be all too willing to pounce on if they later decide they couldn't afford it, or if they break something and want "out from under" it by blaming it on the seller (me), saying it was broken when I sold it.

people are weird.............

I've even had someone return a "defective" item they bought at my yard sale, for pennies on the dollar ($5 total sale), sold clearly "as is, where is,with all faults, no guarantee", and show up literally screaming on my doorstep at 6:30 AM to do it , too.

Should have known it would be like that, they asked too many questions..... and they apparently didn't know how to work it, either, because it worked fine.

Carld
06-16-2012, 09:12 PM
I totally agree with everything in your last post. Buyers are weird and will try to scam the seller. Selling is a tricky business. One thing I notice is people seldom try to bargain a price down in a store but at a flee market or with a person selling at home they beat you like a step child.

I can understand you or anyone getting tired of someone "kicking the tires" hoping they will wear you down. Just tell them the price and let them kick.

Chuck K
06-17-2012, 12:30 AM
I buy and sell old used iron on a fairly regular basis. I can usually tell if a guy is serious or just wasting my time in the first few minutes. I don't have a problem with a guy wanting to check the machine out, but like J Tiers said, most of them don't really know what they're checking. If the machine has a problem, I point it out and it has already been factored into the selling price. For those that want to use the harbor freight machine as a comparative bargaining point....I tell them to go to harbor freight and buy it and good luck with that. As far as customers waiting for someone to get done inspecting and make up his mind.....I never sell machines so cheap that people are standing in line to buy them. I try to set a realistic price that we can both be happy with. When a machine sells 10 min after I list it I know I left money on the table. I've never had a machine returned and really haven't had any bad selling experiences. Now...buying experiences..thats a whole different story.
Chuck

flylo
06-17-2012, 01:00 AM
I buy and sell old used iron on a fairly regular basis. I can usually tell if a guy is serious or just wasting my time in the first few minutes. I don't have a problem with a guy wanting to check the machine out, but like J Tiers said, most of them don't really know what they're checking. If the machine has a problem, I point it out and it has already been factored into the selling price. For those that want to use the harbor freight machine as a comparative bargaining point....I tell them to go to harbor freight and buy it and good luck with that. As far as customers waiting for someone to get done inspecting and make up his mind.....I never sell machines so cheap that people are standing in line to buy them. I try to set a realistic price that we can both be happy with. When a machine sells 10 min after I list it I know I left money on the table. I've never had a machine returned and really haven't had any bad selling experiences. Now...buying experiences..thats a whole different story.
Chuck
I totally agree. on major items I call in a week or 2 & make sure they're happy. If i get a lowballer I'm always polite & say I'll consider that after I call the other 3 guys in line then watch the hand head to the wallet. Works most of the time but some people want everthing for nothing. See ya. It sure is fun & I've met some awesome people & made lots of friends.
:D

oldtiffie
06-17-2012, 01:30 AM
I generally agree with JT.

If he is the seller he sets his own rules and its up to the potential buyer to find out what they are and either comply and perhaps buy it but if he doesn't like the rules - he leaves - pronto.

If one potential buyer is still looking or making up his mind and another turns up up and shows an interest, it does or could be a contest between them until or unless one drops out - or perhaps until both drop out - but its JT's show and he can call it as he wishes.

I'd also agree that "low ballers" or scammers should be ordered off the premises.