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  • Jet tools

    Thought I'd pass this on and see where it goes.

    I've been trying to obtain an owner's manual and parts for a Jet table saw. I emailed the company a few times with no reply. I called their home office yesterday, talked to their receptionist. She typed my model #, stock # into her computer and there was a long silence.. "Oh Oh ", I thought. After an exchange of polite conversation she transfered me to tech services. The tech typed my numbers into his computer and immediately said "nope, your machine is too old." I asked him "how old", he replied "older than me.. maybe twenty years old". I then asked him if it is Jet company policy not to have parts or manuals for machines other than their current models.. long pause.. then he said he would check with another tech. Long wait.. elevator music.. finally came back with reply. "most companies don't stock parts for models older than eight years. I replied that well made machines shouldn't need parts for at least eight years, politely thanked him for his trouble and hung up. I guess I will have to make my own parts.

  • #2
    dhammer,

    I feel your pain and anger! Over the years we have had two Jet metal lathes and a bunch of woodworking machines in our school shop. Yuk! I don't want to be hyper critical, and they sure cost less than top-drawer machines, but let me just say, I have old American machines at home!
    hms50
    hms

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    • #3
      Have run into the same type of problem with Grizzly. Some of the machines were discontinued after only a couple of years and some of the parts were not available. Found this out when I tried to order some parts to make something else and not to replace a broken part on the machine I have.

      Joe

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      • #4
        That is a standard policy in most industries not to keep parts onhand for old machines, but I am surprised that they do not have manuals available. It's very easy to store them electronically and print one out when they need to. Were you able to get the drawings of the parts you need?

        Last company I worked for build industrial machines and stopped making parts around 10 years old and once stock was depleted, that was it. They would make the part for you if you wanted, but in some cases it was cheaper to buy a new machine.

        Mike

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        • #5
          Remember Hendey machine tools,they made lathes ,shapers that sort of thing,well they made some of the best.These machines are very durable,too durable for the continued existance of the company.In other words they no longer exist,and while some may argue that the company is now part of Barber- Colman I'll bet they don't have parts for my 1944 model gearhead!You may count yourself lucky to get parts?manuals for 8 years most companies including automobile mfg.only stock these for 5 some less than 2.I also will be blunt, if you are a machinist and you need a part for your universal#3 doolamaflitchy make it yourself.if you are not a machinist this is a great way to learn!As for Jet remember they are also joined at the hip with Powermatic,Wilton and Performax and Powermatic isn't much better. I asker for a parts list for an 8"jointer the same one they have made for the last 30years (USA NOT CHINA)tech says they don't have one!I had to dream it up myself.And remember when power tool companies had service centers?well you better take a picture because they are going quick!I guess you have to ask yourself can I still get parts for my model"T"from Ford?Can I still get parts for my Packard from G.M.?Maybe so but not likely.I saw a t-shirt once that said "remember when drag racing was dangerous and sex was safe?"LIFE IS HARD GET A HELMET!.
          I just need one more tool,just one!

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          • #6
            It is all about the bean counters. Some comapnies actually scrapped the parts they had so they could get them off the books. Accountants said " if they haven't bought out all these things in 40 years, they aren't going to, get rid of them".

            There is some consumer protection in the USA, in that some things are supposed to be supported for 5 years at least. So that may give a little leverage, but if they don't have them, they don't, and that is all there is to say.

            I hated it when HP and Tektronix "turned into pumpkins" about spare parts. Same woith General Radio, but they at least had mercy and gave me a print.

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            • #7
              wierdscience,

              Thanks for reminding me of the fact that life isn't always a "box of candy" Back when I was playing farmer I tried to purchase machinery made by John Deere. JD most always had the parts I needed.. even for my 1945 JD A. I am partial to GM products. I can buy parts and manuals for both my 1965 and 1980 Impala.

              I'm thinking of upgrading from a contractor's saw to a cabinet model. Will I consider Jet? No way. I'll be a little more cautious and check into parts availability BEFORE I plunk down my money.

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              • #8
                dhammer,

                Whoa!!! Jet 20 years ago.....

                I was in their Tacoma parts/repair operation about 20 years ago. Ever been to one of those auto wrecking yards out in the country with the vicious attack dog and the dark, dingy office with greasy parts all over the place? That's what I think of as Jet back in those days.

                Spare parts? Forget about it. It appeared they would label any piece of third world junk with the Jet name. The place was full of defective machines returned under warrantee. They had no facilities or anyone knowledgeable enough to fix these machines so they re-sold them "as is". I heard rumors that dealers would buy these reject machines at a substantial discount and sell them as new machines (without disclosing the reject status).

                Jump forward a few years to Jet's new location in Auburn. Full of returned defective machines, but well lit and clean. It still appeared they did not repair the returned machines.

                Makes you wonder about their machines, that apparently they aren't worth investing the time and effort to repair.


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                • #9
                  lordy me weird one- you get more like me every time you let your hair down and let it all hang out!!! . Go, mman go!!!!

                  As a kid i saw too many "shadetree mechanics" who had neither shade tree nor tools, essentialy "voting" on how many shims you take out of a connecting rod bearing or how tight should that bolt be.

                  When I bought my first real car (engine ran before i paid ) I got a manual, Every new car I had in my hands the factory manual before they got cash. I TRY to get schematics ,aprts list etc for anything i buy. Mostly I fail.

                  Machine tools should last a lifetime in hobby use. You have no power after they have the money. Bargin for books. "they" always tell you how easy it is to get a book after the sale. If its so easy then let them get the book first they supposedly know how. My old lathe had no book- I found a copy in libary- but they don't sell books. but the book had never been checked out and it was old!!!! So we agreed I could "lose it" aand pay. I didso- lost that book before i got out the door- lady libarian just laughed and said some thing like " Mr stevens you all ways push things don't you?" Point is if anything in life is woorth sealing, its books and knowledge. The Asian stuff to often simply has no support- books, techs or returns. They will do better if we insist that we want what ever they have and disparage what they give us. But there will never be books produced after the sale- its counter productive- the MFR (that manufacutrer not mother bumpty bump) hope the stuff hangs together long enough taht you will buy again. if, as saaid above, it lasts too long they go broke. So ability to maintain, shipping costs standard size bearings, especially standard motor frame sizes, pullies that can be pulled (pull in pully area?), plenty of lub spots are things to consider also. As said above
                  good man can use a sloppy machine and make precision stuff- but if it won't cut the you are back to the armstrong mill (file).

                  Demand the books!

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                  • #10
                    Ditto what doc said. I buy a book with every car, and I've got manuals with most machinery. I bought a powermatic 12" table saw at an auction. Couldn't get parts for it, but I got enough information from the parts manual to enable me to return this well-made machine to service. Information is everything.

                    As far as jet goes the only knowledge of jet machine tools i have is from a good friend who purchased a lathe for an alternator rebuild company. After two months of replacing every fastener that vibrated loose, or wasn't tight in the first place, they finally got a workable lathe.

                    Matt

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                    • #11
                      I've got a Jet 16 Mill/drill,that's done all I've asked for it to do. Little tinkering here and there. Not as solid or heavy as the Gorton Mill at work,but it was all I could afford at the time. I expect to come across a US made mill in the next few years,just hope I can afford to grab it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The maddest man I ever did see was was a former boss who when Grey charged him $275.00 for a parts/repair manual to a 4"boring mill ram that they had just rebuilt for a cost of $68,000!I actually saw him jump up and down as he screamed into the phone for ten minutes or so they did finally wave the book cost and sent him a coffee mug! I have sold and used import tools of every description for about 10 years,We always do the right thing as far as quality is concerned if we get something that turns out to be crap we quit selling it or use another vendor somethings like jackstands and bottle jacks and that sort of thing are hard to screw up,but electric motors are a whole other story I can honestly say that the US,Canada and Japan make the best motors world wide.The asians are getting better some are coming in from Korea and Taiwan that are pretty good China is pure crap as for Jet I stay away.I have said it before if a company won't give me service I will not deal with them!The folks at Grizzly I have had good service from as well as others.I have noticed to that some of the American made products are becoming less quality than some imports lots more plastic and pop rivets.One area this is true is guns I see more and more rivets and spot welds instead of screws and pins.While we are on memory lane I remember when I was a kid which that wasn't long ago our local family owned hardware store sold guns ,tools,camping gear and appliances the good stuff and when you walked in the door three clerks would nearly Knock you over waiting on you and if they didn't have it they would get it in short order.Well sadly the old place shut down about two years ago and all we have left is wal-mart.Not worth a damn for anything!As far as quality I think the enviroment would be better off if we made things to last longer or atleast be repairable.I have an idea that some things should be left alone too.Remember when we had deposit pop bottles?I remember when we were kids I would take off walking to the country store about two miles down the road and by the time I got there I had picked up enough emptys to get another full one.It also kept me out of trouble for a while Now all you got is worthless plastic that piles up on the ground and fat lazy kids.
                        I just need one more tool,just one!

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                        • #13
                          I'll second George. My Jet mill drill has given me no problem and done well. I think it's important to differintiat between Jet vs. Delta (to pick a name) of twenty years ago verses Jet vs. Delta in the here and now. We also have a jet planer/molder and a 10" table saw in our home shop. Both are well documented and the fit and finish is as good as the current Delta. There is a large number of people in the woodworking community who feel Jet's saws are every bit as good as the Delta. This has not always been the case but Jet seems to have worked hard to bring up their quality. Jet also provides full documentation at their website.

                          We bought the tablesaw at the Jet factory seconds counter at their headquarters in Auburn. The people there were very healpful and we got the saw at a greatly reduced rate. The saw was originaly returned with a bad motor and arbor but Jet replaced the motor and arbor for us and esentialy sold us a new saw at a great discount. The saw has been working well and is very well made.

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                          • #14
                            Well...Let's not forget the whole reason why offshore equipment is so previlent. Why, for my limited use, would I want to pay $40,000 for a lathe when I can get one for $4,000 and do the same thing? Why would I want to pay $10,000 for a shear when I can do the same thing with a $2800 shear? Why pay $500 for a saw when I can cut my bar stock with a $50 saw?
                            So what if it lasts only five to ten years, It's cost is written off by then and I'll just get another. If it breaks and it's simple, I'll fix it. If not, I'll buy another. Either way, I can buy 10 for the price on one American. That means I can get 50-100 years of service for the same price, and be up-to-date. Why would I want to buy someone's old, worn-out and written-off scrap just to say "I Bought American"? Hooey on that. The money has gone offshore anyway when the owner drives home in his BMW.
                            Life is tough. It's Global Economics now. Why would interest rates (for many) be based on LIBOR? US factories can't SPEND X dollars to make something and sell it for 1/2 X. You can't pay someone $30-50/hr. and expect to sell their service for $5/hr. With many US companies, they buy an item for $1 offshore, slap their name on it and sell it for $100. So the argument of "Buy American" has no meaning any more.
                            You are still supporting an American company even though the product may be imported. You pay taxes on products no matter where they come from. You pay a local mechanic to work on your imported car. You buy imported fruit from you local grocery.
                            If you have deep pockets and want to spend it lavishly, spend it where you want. But, don't claim you hardware is better than mine for my use--because the iron probably came from the same foundry and without the markup.

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                            • #15
                              It is more complex and cynical than you are saying... lots more. If we worked for free and our tools were free, then it still would not matter about slowing the loss of jobs. Free, and I really mean it. Here is an example. Several years ago a major foreign company bought a number of movie creation and rights companies here. They puttered along for a while and then made a major investment in High Definition Video - hundreds of millions of dollars. Then they later annound terrible losses, just TERRIBLE!... Billions of dollars in losses...!! But they did not sell the studios - in fact expanded their presence. So what happened? First, their major purchases were from the foreign mother company. A $5000 tape deck to build might be sold to the US side for $500K... then used and *presto* - a terrible, terrible loss!!! of may be $400K. So what really happend? the profitablity got moved off shore and the losses shielded the income stream. Their competitors, if native US, could not compete - nominaly - with this. Now everyone plays this game - including technology companies and machine tool companies. Buy your machines in Asia. write them off. Buy them here, and you can "depreciate" over time and pay taxes on it all the while for value, use, and everything else. Here you get killed to pay for medical, legal, and financial expenses. There, you don't. My monthly medical insurance is "typical" for the US and exceeds the income of workers in most of the world. For all of these problems, you can not blame the demise of our manufacturers on "high american labor" and "expensive tools" - just ain't so.

                              The only way you fix it is to export government offshore - just as if it were another line job. And it is proven that much of it can be.

                              BTW - there is a big fight shaping up beteen Kaza and the Movie guy - same bunch who take advantage of the foreign tax implications. Kaza obeys the rules of the country where they do business... just like the studios.. but it turns back to bite the studios. Interesting to see how this really plays out.... On a much bigger scale, there is the China - linux card played in oppisition to the MicroSoft dominance. Same issues there.

                              -- Just thought I'd rant about the source of things really collapsing. My dad was a Union Officer in the textile union in the 1930s. He went through the destruction of that industry by the Dept of Defense and dept. of commerce. He had a lot of opnions -pro and con - about the matter - that are as good today as then...

                              -- jerry r.
                              dvideo

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