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"Junk Machinery" from years gone bye

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  • "Junk Machinery" from years gone bye

    We all know of the questionable quality of some of the Chinese equipment one can buy today.

    Looking back decades earlier, did we have the same questionable quality from other imports..say from the Japanese?

    And for those members of Europe, do you have any stories of the junk you used to have to put up with from the United States? ;<)

    TMT

  • #2
    I suspect there was junk in earlier days too. It's just all been thrown away by now, so all we have left (mostly) is the quality stuff.

    Just like all the old-time houses that are so much better-built than modern ones; all the bad ones have fallen down.
    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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    • #3
      Oh yeah, at the first the Japanese import items were junk, as was Taiwan products, much of course has changes since the 60's, it will also change with China as will the price as they gets up to speed and the market changes.

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      • #4
        Not all as it seems

        A lot of "Taiwanese" stuff is out-sourced to China but sold under a "Taiwan" label.

        China will increase its prices - for a whole lot of reasons - but not until it has burned off the opposition.

        That is "loss-leading" and "predatory pricing" which is well established by and in the USA - so China uses the American model - as it obviously works and there will always be more than enough people buying for the cheapest they can get spending all that they have or can borrow.

        Its not only in the USA either - its world-wide.

        People will (only?) pay lip-service to "buy American made" and "keep American jobs etc." but its a different story when they are faced with the price differential and have to "pony up".

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        • #5
          heh......

          Not all "JUNK" was imported........

          of course the "109" lathes...........

          But also Atlas, Logan................ if you were using a big Monarch or the like, the Atlas or Logan might be considered "cheap hobby junk".....

          And, in truth, they were made to a low price point... and "quality" features were sacrificed in many cases..... The Atlas far more so than the Logan, but........

          Originally posted by oldtiffie
          People will (only?) pay lip-service to "buy American made" and "keep American jobs etc." but its a different story when they are faced with the price differential and have to "pony up".
          Not everyone..... I'll pay more for US made...... but it needs to be made well, and have an advantage.... I've given up and MADE stuff when I could not find a US product at all, or one of decent quality....... to avoid buying chinese.

          In some cases, there is no choice...... unless you feel like rolling your own pentium chip.......
          Last edited by J Tiers; 05-17-2010, 10:46 PM.
          1601

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan

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          • #6
            China also does not change because change is not presently required, they are doing quite well selling the quality (should say or lack of) that they have now.
            Most of their products are what I would describe as only adequate, brass fittings not with standing

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            • #7
              Originally posted by J Tiers
              heh......
              Not all "JUNK" was imported........
              Boy, aint that the truth!

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              • #8
                You'd get junk here too if the factories were paying $5 a day for wages. Folks in the US want to drive Cadillacs but only pay 25 cents a gallon for gas. A poor friend of mine had to take a $165K/yr job and sell his $465K house. For those of you not familiar with house values down here, that's about a $4.5M+ house in California. (4400 sq. ft. with pool on five landscaped acres.) He's the same person that griped because I charged him a $15 fee to strip old nickel off a bucket of parts before plating prep. I should have just built it into the estimate total.

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                • #9
                  Most of you guys are not going to like this:- A hundred years or so ago, in the UK, American imported tools had the reputation of being fast, able to 'go the pace' but would be worn out and junk in 4 years. If you wanted something really solid and built to last, you bought British. How things have changed.
                  Richard

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                  • #10
                    China stuff is becoming good quality now, compared to ten years ago...

                    The problem is the importers mostly import cheap crap still..
                    Precision takes time.

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                    • #11
                      If you read old Model Engineer mags. from the 1930's there where always letters complaining about the horrible quality of the small lathes that where available to the amateurs of the day. These where built in Britain and most went out of business inWW2
                      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

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                      • #12
                        I equate those pot-metal gears and small parts on the 109s and Atlas lathes, with the plastic gears in the minilathe and miniill of today.
                        I think the AA lathes sold for around $15.00 in the 1930s.
                        Zinc (and Bakelite) was the polymer of the pre-war era.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J Tiers
                          But also Atlas, Logan................ if you were using a big Monarch or the like, the Atlas or Logan might be considered "cheap hobby junk".....

                          And, in truth, they were made to a low price point... and "quality" features were sacrificed in many cases..... The Atlas far more so than the Logan, but........
                          To me, the real difference between the older machines was in materials and complexity; the workmanship on my old 10" Atlas was fine, it was just a very light duty machine compared to almost anything else.

                          With the increase in labor costs, you now see those things reversed - reasonably good materials but shoddy workmanship in low end gear. Of course, the prices today are far lower than they were 50 years ago in terms of hours of labor needed to purchase something.

                          - Bart
                          Bart Smaalders
                          http://smaalders.net/barts

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by loose nut
                            If you read old Model Engineer mags. from the 1930's there where always letters complaining about the horrible quality of the small lathes that where available to the amateurs of the day. These where built in Britain and most went out of business inWW2
                            This is very true, but in my earlier submission, I was talking about industrial sized machines.

                            Richard

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                            • #15
                              I have owned plenty of incredibly junky american made machinery.
                              It was cheap, and I didnt have any money.

                              I had an Atlas lathe, and I hated it. POS. I had to rebuild and replace a bunch of stuff, and a lot of it was never designed to do real work. I was never so happy as when I sold that thing.

                              Remember AMT woodworking tools?
                              bent sheet metal, pot metal, and 1/4hp washing machine motors.
                              6" table saws that bogged down on 3/4" plywood. 4" jointers that could, just barely, take a 32nd off of a soft wood.

                              Craftsman power tools from the 70's?
                              plastic switches, plastic housings, self tapping screws in the plastic.
                              Complete and total crap.
                              I had a Craftsman belt/disc sander that was unbelievable in its junkiness. It was constantly cutting itself into pieces, breaking, melting and burning up. It was the bionic man by the time I junked it.
                              Sears used to go with the low bidder, and often got drill presses made by toaster factories, table saws made by blender companies, and radial arm saws made by lawn mower builders.

                              In the early 80's, I remember writing on the wall of my shop, in 6" tall letters, "I will never buy another Craftsman hand power tool".
                              Didnt, either.

                              America has a long, 200 year old history of poisonous patent medicines, cardboard suitcases, cardboard shoe soles, pot metal tools, stamped socket wrenches (ever tried to use those? stamped sheet metal sockets, not even welded at the seam. Reef too hard, and they return to their original flat sheet metal state) and much much more total crap.

                              We remember, and cherish, the good quality american made stuff- because it lasted longer than all the cheap crap that surrounded it at the time...

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