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B & S vs Starrett dial caliper

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  • B & S vs Starrett dial caliper

    I've owned both Brown & Sharp and Starrett 6" dial calipers and prefer The Starretts for 2 reasons.
    1. Sooner or later you will get a chip in the rack and have fun blowing it out of a B&S with a covered rack.
    2. Starrett is American made. B&S is Swiss. Every time you buy an imported anything understand what you're helping to do. We are shutting down factories and destroying our manufacturing capacity faster than any other nation in the history of mankind. Period. If that doesn't bother you go for it. Until our law makers stop selling us down the river and sell us out to the "free trade" time bomb the best thing an individual can do is buy American while made in America still exist. Or the entire American machine tool industry can go the path of tennis shoes and Barbie dolls. And a Chinese laborer wouldn't earn in one year enough money to pay my property taxes. Tell me how I can compete against slave labor. Remember when tariffs are removed from imports government spending doesn't go down equaly. Guess where government replaces that lost income from.


  • #2

    I am Canadian, and I take minor offense to your statement. I probably buy more American manufactured goods than you do - and it costs me twice as much as it does you.

    You pay less for our fossil fuels than I do - even adjusted for the difference on the dollar and volumes and we ship it down there. Alberta produces more Oil & Gas than the rest of North America combined. I am not "reaping" the benefits of your purchases. I pay just as much for housing, food, and clothes as you do, but my taxes are 60% (personal, gst, and hidden taxes) of my income and I have no bill of rights like you do.

    You really want to do something about it, remember the top 1% of the wealthy are the bastards doing this to all of us. They do not give one rat's ass about you, me, starving children, or anyone else but themselves. So boycott everything they tell you is a "good thing" and quit voting heartless/brainless mendicants into government.

    And I love Starrett tools, they are "art in form & function". I also have Mitutoyo, Mauser,
    B & S, Moore & Wright, Eclipse, and others. I buy the best I can afford, period.

    I always lay a clean shop towel over the good stuff to keep chips & dust out.

    I hope I have not offend you in this reply - I just wanted you to know who you should be blaming.


    [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 10-11-2001).]


    • #3
      I will offend someone with this reply but oh well...

      We did this to ourselves, Unions drove the wages up, the product then cost more to cover wages, then people demand more money for work done to cover that cost. Part of this cycle is inflation, part of it is greed on our part.

      China doesnt have unions, I dont know about Japan. I do know China is following the same cycle as Japan did 20-30 years ago. With this giant consumer economy in the US to fuel it, they are producing much more than just a few years ago. Will their products improve like Japans did? I dont know.

      That is why major corp.s are moveing overseas, profit. Their labor is much less than our labor, and in every aspect of manufacturing, from mining to final assembly.

      Are we killing ourselves? Yes. Can we stop it? No. Not until the entire nation figures it out, and by then it will be too late. The kids coming out of school today dont understand this and wont for a long time. I wish I had a copy of the speach Bill Gates gave a class that was graduating. Basicly he said, you wont get rich, you will have to wrok, nobody owes you anything, stop whining. It was a great speach, I hope the kids took it to heart.

      Well if I havent ticked you off by now I am going to quit. I have to get to work to earn some more money, so I can go buy those useless items we all "need".



      • #4
        Nobody has ever offended me by speaking the truth, I think I have offended a few by voiceing my opinion which I believed to be the truth.

        Brown and Sharpe was American, sad day when they went overseas. I do have a set of B&S dials which I bought 2 years ago, I love them, best set made for the money in my opinion. I think maybe that B&S still has some interests in this country, I might be wrong.

        Yes we should buy products made right here, this goes further, one should by from stores right in you own town, why give some other town your sales tax money, might help out your property tax situation if town had more sales taxes coming in. Probably not, they would just spend more, buy a new police car or some more computers for city hall.

        Buying European products doesn't bother me as much as Asian, my ancestors came from Europe, might be helping out a long lost cousin. I sure don't have any kin folk in asia. I also believe that Europe is one of our bigger export customers, might be wrong.

        I heard a most distressing rumor the other day that Red Wing boots might go Chinese, I sure hope not. Won't buy another pair if that is the case, might have to go barefoot, ouch them chips are sharp.

        Our electrical Guru at work on second shift was in engineering at Zenith, he claims that the direct labor cost on a TV set at the Springfield MO plant was $5.00. I couldn't believe it was that low, then they moved the plant to Mexico? What is the cost down there, a nickle. Greedy bastards is what some management is, not to mention our political people and govermental employees.

        Whoa I better stop, want to get me really wound up, be a telemarketer who wakes me up, I'm back on graveyard shift, I get grumpy.


        • #5
          Don't mean to offend either, but IMHO, Starrett stuff is over rated. For the same price, you can get better stuff, though it is definately far better then the low $ imports.


          • #6
            Dear Sirs,

            I own my own machine shop. I employee 5 people and pay well above the average in my labor market. Every man on my crew gets paid health insurance, paid vacation and most of the benefits associated with companies much larger than mine. What do I get in return? I have one man who acts like a child when I question why he scraps $1500 in 4140 bar. He says it is my fault that he drilled a hole too large; I guess it is I did not read the print for him. I have another who scraped $2500 in stainless tubing because he did not pull a tape a check the length of the part as it came off of the saw (this was a job that had +or- .125 tolerances). What pisses me off is that both don't give a ****. They should't I own the shop and have plenty of money. They both will pissed when they don't get a bonus at the end of the year.

            This attitude is pervasive in our culture. It is no wonder that major manufaturers move out of the country. Arrogance and greed is killing manufacturing and not all of the blame goes to the management.

            If you are opossed to imports because of the loss of jobs then go and complain to the Long Shoreman who unloads them from the ship. Don't forget the teamster who drives them from port to to distribution, the forklift driver who loads and unloads them on the teamsters truck. Think about the person who takes your order over the phone or the salesman who represents the item and answers your questions when you have problems. You can bitch at the mechanic who works on foreign cars. Be sure to go and visit the men and women who build Okuma and Mazaks they live in Kentucky and North Carolina.


            • #7

              If you are paying the same for other stuff as Starrett you are getting hosed. Starrett is not over rated but it is a little pricey - still quality to be sure. I defy you to find better gauge blocks than the Webber Chrome Carbide for any price ($17,000).

              C. Tate,

              My hat goes off to you sir, most owners are not as generous as you are with your employees. I have a lot of compassion for the guy who takes it personal when he screws up and admits to it - hey, poo happens. However, I would fire on the spot the pinhead that thought it was my fault - there are lots of people who really need jobs to choose from out in the job market. Make an example of him next time! (and feel GOOD about it)

              I agree with you about supporting the manufacturers that are trying to make high quality products (Okuma, Mazak, Haas, etc) with local people (give them a chance!)

              To survive the future, we (Canadians & Americans) have to go on to bigger and better things - we cannot afford to live in the past anymore. Leave the stuff we do not want to do anymore to the people who are willing in the global community.



              • #8
                I will never be offended by a person giving their honest opinion. I can learn from different veiws. I am a machinist, I enjoy it as a hobby. I enjoy this forum for meeting other machinist and their knoweledge. But our machine tool industry can't and won't survive free trade. I agree that our culture is producing workers that have poor work ethic. Unions were a necessary evil to combat the evils of oppressive management. Countless children were maimed and killed in mines, glass factories, and textile mills. Human canon fodder for profit. The top 1% in the U.S. that now control 40% of the assets have purchased the legislation to make them richer. I don't hate them, I pity them for they have chosen their God of money. What a price to pay to inherit the world by selling your soul. The people who founded this country warned us over and over what would become of this nation if we turned our back on the one who allowed it to exist. What will become of this hobby we call home shop machinist? It wil become a luxury that a shrinking number of people will be able to afford. Luxury? To the million homeless people and 12 million children on the brink of malnutrition in this country their concern is where will my next meal come from, not how do I run a lathe. I enjoy this hobby and this trade but it will never become more important than my concern for my fellow man. Re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic can be entertaining for a short time. But a very high price is paid for indifference.



                • #9
                  Just to really stir up the mud!

                  I viisted EMO in Hannover last month (Yes it was sort of interesting getting there!!!!). While i was there I got some surprises!!!!

                  I asked pricing on some TESA mics (love the feel of them tools!) they were about 1/2 the cost of buying them here in western Canada. Checked out a few other items sometimes the difference wasn't as great but it was always there.

                  For the sake of profit most machine tool manufacturers went to 'cheaper' production. Most of these producers (loosely called) are now just marketers with their stuff being made by others.

                  I sure did see a difference in quality between the origin of the machine tools. Paint only covers so much.


                  • #10
                    artificer in metal,

                    I understand you are in Edmonton - Email me and we can Yak - I am in Edmonton as well!



                    • #11
                      C Tate,

                      I would be ticked (understatement!) for something as simple as (not) measuring. Isnt that the basis for all machine work? Make this part to this length? Duh!

                      I am trying to get a part time job at a local machine shop. I found the one I want to work in, but they dont have any openings right now. The guys you have dont know how lucky they have it.

                      I have been in the military for 14 years, I have 5 to go. When I am out I plan to work full time in a machine shop. I am taking courses at the local college working toward a certificate of advanced machining. Look around you may find someone like me that WANTS to work there, and knows to READ the print and USE measuring tools.

                      They are idiots, print this out and take it to them.



                      • #12

                        Let me tell you about the trade schools in our state. In the Delta region there was young man who was supposed to be the best in his machining class. When time for graduation was near the instructor and the head of the school carried this young man to interview with a shop owner not far from the school. Upon their arrival the owner asked several questions and finally handed the young man calipers and a piece of bar stock and said you can have the job if you tell me what size bar that is. The young man looked puzzled and thought for a period of time and finally responded 5 inches. It was .5 inches.
                        What can I do? I have to hire people to work in the shop and I don't have many choices sometimes. I have to put up with some of this @#[email protected]# to have people at the machines.


                        • #13
                          C. Tate:

                          Twenty years or so ago, I hired a guy from South Carolina who was a "Certified Journyman Welder" and had welded those large Aluminum LNG storage "balls" for years. Had a letter fom the company saying he was good, and his "ticket". We hired him to weld Aluminum with a Miller wirefeed gun on a 400A Miller power supply. To say he sucked was an understatement. Worst welds I ever seen.

                          Time goes on , and numbnuts wants to get an Alberta Journeyman Welders ticket. We contact the apprenticeship board and they investigate his ticket. Turns out his ticket is a 27 hour course at a college. They still gave him the benefit of a doubt and granted him the right to test for a second class ticket.

                          This test involves stick welding, failure tests of your welds, and a writen portion. All of his welds failed. He could not do the math involved (addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication of fractions). He got an overall score of 11% - 90% was required on the welding, and 60% on the writen test.

                          Alberta has the highest standards for Journeyman welders of anywhere in the world.

                          All I know is I am never going near one of those LNG tanks as long as I live! I keep waiting to hear about one letting loose in SC for the 20+ years since I met "Herb".


                          [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 10-17-2001).]


                          • #14
                            I, like many people I am sure, generally buy the best I can afford. This does not always mean I buy American. When a domestic lathe costs 5 times the same sized import, whats a guy supposed to do? The maker of the import is paying less per DAY than the American builder is paying per hour. The import builder doesn't pay health insurance, 401k, doesn't give paid vacation, doesn't pay for wokers wives to have babies. It is not possible, in American, to compete with that. And, as MarcF4 so rightly puts it, good ole fashioned American greed did it to us.

                            James Kilroy
                            James Kilroy


                            • #15

                              I disagree in one regard. Despite the fact mediocrity seems to be the norm these days, there are many American and Canadian companies that produce superior products that are second to none and still compete with the cheaper competition - all is not lost yet!

                              If everyone refused to buy stuff that falls apart or wears out prematurely and flat out refuse inferior products there would not be a market for "crap" of all descriptions. The greedy few would be forced to accept a lower profit margin and produce better products.