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APT Boring Head: Simply Awful

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  • APT Boring Head: Simply Awful

    I ordered an APT boring head at work as they had no R8 boring head for the mill. Being a round column mill with limited Z height, I figured an integral shank ought to save a bit, and be a bit more rigid. And surely a $320 APT is swankier than a $90 Shars...

    Wrong.

    Way wrong.

    Literally the worst quality machine tool accessory I've ever touched. Makes a Shars head look like a damn Wolhaupter.

    So where do I start?
    1. Crappy black oxide finish does not look or feel nice
    2. No grinding on the R8 shank
    3. No grinding on any of the sliding surfaces except one.
    4. The surface that was ground was worse than the machined ones and looked like it was done on a bench grinder
    5. The non-gib dovetail angles did not match, nor fit each other in any way. Literally just look at the photos. That is the light gap with me pressing them fully tight together. Looks to be about 1/32nd on the top? The only place it did touch was down in the radius where it was supposed to be relieved. And that part wasn't flat, so it just sat there and rocked. If you did somehow adjust the gib to where sort of worked, it would lock right up as it rocked on that radius and narrow edge.
    6. The bearing balls on the gib don't help anything as Doozer surmised.
    7. The machined mating surfaces where scratched up where various bits of grit had got in there.
    8. The general fit, finish, and feel of the boring head were just completely awful.
    If I were MSC I'd be embarrassed to sell this scrap metal. I sent it right back, never even trying it. Don't need to. Ordered the $90 shars instead. At least then I know the quality will be acceptable. Hilarious that the Shars for <1/3rd the cost is full ground (even on unimportant faces like the end) and actually ground pretty decent. APT must be making a killing on each one of these pieces of garbage that isn't sent back.

    /Rant over

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    21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
    1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

  • #2
    That's high quality US made stuff that is.... They must have been high when they made it.

    Are you sure it was not made in India? Looks like stuff from India that I have seen.

    Those folks must be trying to "compete with china". That never ends well.
    CNC machines only go through the motions.

    Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
    Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
    Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
    I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
    Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh boy. What a hunk of junk. I sure hope that was an anomaly. That is an awful representation of USA-made. I think I could have done better with my eyes closed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Boy, that isn't even a DIY starting point.

        Just how do you get the angle of a dovetail that wrong? I mean, even the cheap cutters will be more accurate then that. Was the head tilted? WHAT?????
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by eKretz View Post
          Oh boy. What a hunk of junk. I sure hope that was an anomaly. That is an awful representation of USA-made. I think I could have done better with my eyes closed.
          Based on quick google search this is not the only time with APT.
          Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

          Comment


          • #6
            You have learned a lesson.
            Do not base every tooling purchase on price as the only criteria.

            As painful as it may be often one must cough up the money for what is needed.

            "Made In USA" tooling can also be manufactured to a price point that is low. The lowest possible price hobby market is not where many manufacturers want to go.

            Comment


            • #7
              APT used to be quality tooling. Apparently the bean counters have ruined yet another company.
              Kansas City area

              Comment


              • #8
                I am not going to tell you where I work, But..
                I see it all the time. Ship complete garbage
                just to make the numbers. Accounting is in
                bed with quality control. 80% of our parts
                are imported, and purchasing beats our
                vendors up on price like crazy. Parts come
                in out of spec, write a use-as-is form.
                American worker does not care. They get
                beat down by the company in so many ways
                that I see why they don't care. Now because
                of covid, HR makes us wear Body Trackers.
                RFID chips that track your location everywhere
                in the plant. Can't take a piss without them
                knowing where and how many shakes.
                Workers written up and drug tested for a small
                cut on the finger. I gave up my forklift cert.
                because any small scrape on the paint, you
                loose your job. Gotta wear eye,ear,foot protection,
                covid mask, ID card, tracker chip, quality statement
                card for ISO.... more rules than a federal prison.
                And I am not hourly, I am salary. Hourly workers
                have struct break time and lunch times enforced.
                Parking regulations, speed limit 5 mph. Temp
                check at the door TWICE. All about control and
                conformity. No wonder the American worker
                turns out garbage. They start out with garbage
                parts from over seas, have so many cooperate
                and safety rules to work under, they are pissed
                off from being talked to like a child and treated
                like a prisoner, No wonder American made
                quality sucks. I totally get it. I see it daily.
                I live it daily. That is why I am such a dick
                when I post on here. Sorry you boring head sucks.

                -Doozer
                DZER

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow.... just... wow.
                  Man that sucks. I've had better luck with vintage tooling from eBay.
                  Also, I think Toolguy and Doozer nailed it.
                  The last time I ever dealt with MSC was when I was in school and didn't know any better.
                  Hope you got things straightened out.
                  25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Did you contact APT about the mismatched dovetail angles? That just seems way too obvious to have been done accidently. Were the dovetail angles on the other side also mismatched? The counter bore for the adjusting screw appears to be in alignment. What do you mean about bearing balls on the gib? Why did you take it apart?

                    I'm not quite so ready to make a judgment without seeing more. Where is the ground surface that looks like bench grinder work? The black oxide doesn't look bad to me. Was the "unground" shank out of tolerance?

                    I have four boring heads, two Criterion, one Universal, the other also American made. All are difficult to use when trying to sneak up on a .0005" to .001" offset adjustment.

                    Why didn't you at least give it a try before returning it?



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post

                      Just how do you get the angle of a dovetail that wrong?
                      Maybe it is a bi-directional taper gib!
                      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                      Southwestern Ontario. Canada

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                        I am not going to tell you where I work, But..
                        I see it all the time. Ship complete garbage
                        just to make the numbers. Accounting is in
                        bed with quality control. 80% of our parts
                        are imported, and purchasing beats our
                        vendors up on price like crazy. Parts come
                        in out of spec, write a use-as-is form.
                        American worker does not care. They get
                        beat down by the company in so many ways
                        that I see why they don't care. Now because
                        of covid, HR makes us wear Body Trackers.
                        RFID chips that track your location everywhere
                        in the plant. Can't take a piss without them
                        knowing where and how many shakes.
                        Workers written up and drug tested for a small
                        cut on the finger. I gave up my forklift cert.
                        because any small scrape on the paint, you
                        loose your job. Gotta wear eye,ear,foot protection,
                        covid mask, ID card, tracker chip, quality statement
                        card for ISO.... more rules than a federal prison.
                        And I am not hourly, I am salary. Hourly workers
                        have struct break time and lunch times enforced.
                        Parking regulations, speed limit 5 mph. Temp
                        check at the door TWICE. All about control and
                        conformity. No wonder the American worker
                        turns out garbage. They start out with garbage
                        parts from over seas, have so many cooperate
                        and safety rules to work under, they are pissed
                        off from being talked to like a child and treated
                        like a prisoner, No wonder American made
                        quality sucks. I totally get it. I see it daily.
                        I live it daily. That is why I am such a dick
                        when I post on here. Sorry you boring head sucks.

                        -Doozer
                        Interesting comments.... Sounds like you might be ready for self employment like some of us have opted for.



                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My Chinese, or Indian one is much better than that one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DR View Post

                            Interesting comments.... Sounds like you might be ready for self employment like some of us have opted for.
                            I've been going in that direction for the last 30 yrs, for the reasons Doozer stated. And many more reasons that he didn't say.
                            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As a retiree I had to think way more than once about shelling out the money for the 3” Shars boring head I just bought. It was a “Watch” on EBay for more than a month with all the emails reminding me about it. I’ve used it multiple times already and probably again today for a little .610 bushing bore in a bike part. That’s a small bore for a 3” head but it just makes me happy every time I use it now.

                              Thanks for providing the pics. I signed in today just to look at them. What a crock. Your smaller unit is almost twice the cost of the larger unit I bought and nowhere near the same fit and finish. I’m glad you can return it and hope it works out for you.

                              Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
                              9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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