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Thread: Adjustable parallels, Starrett v Chinese - Which is "better" ?

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    marina del rey
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    225

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    ...I like to use importers who have been around for a while and who I know will honor their guarantee, at least to the extent of accepting returns and issuing a prompt refund if I am not satisfied...
    While there are well known imported tools of very high quality (Mitutoyo, Yuasa, etc) it is exceedingly rare to find any from China, who has proven to be a disreputable trading partner. So I prefer to avoid the disappointing performance and hassle of returns and refunds by buying quality, name brand, used tools from well reputed sellers.
    12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
    Index "Super 55" mill
    18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
    7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
    24" State disc sander

  2. #52
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    Nov 2008
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    SF East Bay.
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    I buy a lot of old stuff and cheap crap. I never had much spare cash when I was young so I've learned to make do. I have a few high quality items where the need for accuracy or repeatability counts. Some of the things like adjustable parallels are generally used for procedures where the level of accuracy is not that high.

    My adjustable parallels are unbranded imports. They are as accurate as I need. For my own peace of mind I set up the surface plate and the .0001 DTI. Sweeping the edges showed them to be more accurate than I expected. That was a while back and I have no recollection of the numbers.

    About the QA for imports. The home shop QA that I performed was about what they would do at a quality USA shop OR a 3rd world shop. It took less than a minute per parallel to try it centered and at each extreme. There is no reason to believe that after taking the time to forge the steel, mill the slots and grind the edges that they would not check to make sure that the product met at least their internal standard. If nothing else, how would they determine which ones to sell for $1.50 to domestic markets and which to sell through Grizzly as the $30 high precision brand?

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Buffalo NY USA
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    208

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    While there are well known imported tools of very high quality (Mitutoyo, Yuasa, etc) it is exceedingly rare to find any from China, who has proven to be a disreputable trading partner. So I prefer to avoid the disappointing performance and hassle of returns and refunds by buying quality, name brand, used tools from well reputed sellers.
    I would like to point out that the Chinese can build quality just as well as anyone. Recall that they have a space program after all. The reason why we see crap is because some people (businessmen, importers) only think of first cost as a way to make the sale. Its all dollars to them, nothing else enters the picture. Things are made to a price point instead of a quality point, because somebody wants more $$$ for themselves.

    As for myself, I use older US, swiss, and german measuring tools. I'm OK with Chinese setup and fixturing tools as long as they meet spec. I don't consider parallels to be a measuring tool although they certainly could be used that way.

  4. #54
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    Jun 2013
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    marina del rey
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    225

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
    I would like to point out that the Chinese can build quality just as well as anyone...
    Perhaps, but we never see any of it here.
    12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
    Index "Super 55" mill
    18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
    7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
    24" State disc sander

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Sarasota Fl.
    Posts
    117

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    I got mine about 45 years ago, probably Chinese, maybe India, I got them from EMCO. I don't use the that much but when I do they work fine.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somerset UK
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    1,972

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    Very likely, the motherboard of your computer is manufactured in China.

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Appalachian Ohio
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    693

    Default The denouement

    (Hanging out with my cultured wife has taught me some fancy furrin words)

    After reading everything I sent some low-ball offers to people selling Starrett parallels on eBay, and I got a set of Starretts for $10 more than the new Chinesium parallels. They arrived today.

    I tested them for parallelism by measuring the two ends when "collapsed", and then sliding them 1/2 to the left and checking it, and 1/2 to the right and checking it with a dial indicator on a height gauge.

    All of the members of the set were better than a thousand'th. I didn't wash and dry the surface plate, and clean everything to dust free standards, and I didn't take a lot of time doing the measurements carefully, so I can't say if the < 0.001" errors were my technique or actual errors.

    So, more old American iron in service for a while. The tools have "Scot R" very lightly engraved on the face. I'll never know who he was, but I am now one of the holders of this piece of American tooling as it goes through time.

    I put a few dollars in the pocket of an American seller, and while I don't have anything against the Chinese, I do like supporting the locals whenever reasonable.

  8. #58
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minnesoa
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    1,321

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    Hi,

    Good for you! You got what you wanted at the price you were willing to pay, it don't get better than that.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Buffalo NY USA
    Posts
    208

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    Excellent conclusion! I think in a similar way, preferring older well-made tooling. I just don't have that razor-edge ability to negotiate pricing. Congratulations!

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    420

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    Back to the topic, sort of. Why are the Starrett and "Made in USA" adjustable parallels that I have not hardened? I think the Made in USA are from Products Engineering Co. (PEC). I am annoyed that these things are so easy to ding and dent. They seem to be made of plain 1018 steel. Does anyone offer a set that is hardened?

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