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Member postings for Ketan Swali

Here is a list of all the postings Ketan Swali has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: I am going to buy a mill….Decisions, Decisions !!
27/06/2022 20:02:59

Dave - SOD,

A bit of history based on my observation over the years...

About 20 years ago, you could fill a room with the R8 and MT tooling crowd to find what is better for their machine, lock the room and tell them that they can only come out after making a unanimous decision. On the technical front, neither would agree that one was better than the other, arguing their corner as you have. On the question of price, MT won, as it was a lot cheaper back then in comparison to R8. Also there was justification to use MT in both their lathe and mill.

As newer people entered the hobby, various things happened...

1. Some such new people found it difficult to deal with the friction fit of the MT tapers, as engineering knowledge has been deteriorating over time. For example:

  • failing to clean the mating surfaces of transport oil.. making the friction fit useless
  • overtightening the MT tooling inside the spindle.
  • Combine the overtightening with expansion due to heat generation from use, so making it difficult to loosen the drawbar, because they fail to understand that they needed to allow the spindle area to cool down again... especially due to over tightening.
  • Using the wrong kind of hammer - ie using a claw type hammer (hitting the drawbar to kingdom come without getting a release) instead of using something like a rubber mallet, and failing to hit the drawbar sharp enough to release the taper fit

We fielded a high number of calls to address above issues when we offered options of MT3 and R8, As most of the machines we sell now are R8, such calls are very much in the minority with R8, as R8 don't generally have such an issue as it is not a tapered friction fit in the spindle. Above issues are user related based on poor knowledge.

2. Twenty years ago, MT was cheaper than R8. People were using end mills of a larger variety of shank diameters, threaded etc.. With exception of carbide end mills, sellers like ARC went down the standardisation route offering plain shanks in 6, 8, 10, 12mm with different cutting diameters on the end. So, the user could now consider R8 collets in four standard sizes, so one no longer needed to invest in a full range of collets.

3. R8 collets/tooling wasn't really ever more expensive than MT3. It was a marketing thing. Production of R8 has always been higher than MT3. When we first started in this business, we were advised to avoid selling R8 products at prices similar to MT3, as we would not be taken seriously. Those were the early mail order days. before internet became popular.

4. With the advent of Internet forums in early 2000s, the newer generation specially in the U.S., started talking about their negative experiences with MT3. A certain percentage of it was born out of fear and poor knowledge based on point 1 above, combined with the idea that the bearings would somehow get damaged by hitting the drawbar hard - which is not true, as you have explained.

5. Some of these new comers decided that they wanted to convert their machines to CNC. In the process, some wanted to adapt their cnc project to incorporate quick change tooling, especially R8 end mill holders and ER collet milling collet chucks. R8 provided easier ejection of R8 tool and better 'repeatability' in location than MT. A lot of these projects failed to get off the ground, but the seed was sown, and the ideas/concepts spread slowly across the world.

As a result of the points mentioned above, sales of MT3 machines reduced from 7 out of 10 back in 2004, to around 2 out of 10 by around 2015, in th case of ARC, and 8 out of 10 - predominantly a younger age demographic choosing R8 machines. If one wanted to re-sell their machine second hand, it was and is far more easier to re-sell a Metric R8 machine in the U.K., vs. an Imperial or MT3 machine.

ARC stopped selling MT3 machines when we had to hold one or two pieces of a specific MT3 models for nearly two years. Our sales are driven by market demand.

Hope the above adds to the reasoning for MT3 vs R8.

Ketan at ARC

Thread: Warco Universal Cutter Grinder
27/06/2022 15:27:21


Have a read of this old thread... especially comments by the late John Stevenson in 2016.

Ketan at ARC.

Thread: Sad consequence of rising costs
27/06/2022 14:33:01
Posted by IanT on 26/06/2022 19:06:08:

Dropped a family friend off at Heathrow T2 last weekend - and they now charge you a fiver for the privelege.

Maybe it's been like that for a while (I don't know) - it's the first time I've been up to H/R since well before Covid. Took about 3 minutes to open the boot, get her suitcase out and say a quick "Goodbye and have a safe trip home" - and that was it - cough up £5 online within 24 hours or else...

It seems that motorists are not that popular these days but they don't mind taking your money of course...


Drop-off is currently free at Heathrow if you don't mind dropping them off in the Long Stay Car Park smiley. They provide a free shuttle bus service to the terminal, so that is one way around it. Saw a few people doing this last month, but does add about 20 to 30 mins to the journey. See near the bottom of this page.




Edited By Ketan Swali on 27/06/2022 14:38:11

Thread: I am going to buy a mill….Decisions, Decisions !!
27/06/2022 12:13:23
Posted by Robin on 27/06/2022 11:31:34:

I think they are made by Rong Fu in Taiwan which is why you often see an RF suffix part number.

Look closely at bolt-on-goodies and ponder these questions...

Will that restrict travel?

Will it get in the way?

A little confused by your post Robin. Respectfully, all the machines mentioned in OPs post are produced by factories in Mainland China, rather than Rong Fu in Taiwan.

The Axminster and ARC SX2.7 are made by SIEG factory in Shanghai, and the Warco and Amadeal machines are different, and made by some others in another province.

Regarding the DROs, the buyer makes his or her own decision. Be it factory installed, kit from M-DRO or some other. We only make suggestions to guide people based on our experience in this industry.

Ketan at ARC

27/06/2022 10:53:04

Without going into detail, we find it difficult to agree with the SIEG factory DRO installation, and we find it difficult to deal with after sales issues arising from factory fitted DROs.

For this reason we prefer to sell machines without factory fitted DROs. We prefer to promote supply of magnetic scales from M-DRO. They have clear knowledge and understanding of the products they sell. If a person buys the kit from them, in our opinion they are best geared to offer correct support for these scales.

ARC provided M-DRO with the machines to help them make SIEG machine specific kits. Having just visited their site, I can see that they now have 2-axis kits on this page. At some point I believe that they will also be offering a 3-axis kit. If anyone wishes to find out further, they should ask M-DRO.

ARC suggests that if a person wants DROS, they should consider supply from M-DRO. We have no commission or financial interest in promoting their kits. The deal is made directly between the buyer and M-DRO, without any middle man, so M-DROs price is competitive too.

Ketan at ARC

Edited By Ketan Swali on 27/06/2022 10:53:45

Thread: Book on lathe operation ?
19/06/2022 12:50:41

Hi Pete,

You mentioned " Although, the OP mentions he used a lathe in his apprenticeship in the last century so I think he will relate to the 1935 South Bend/Atlas book OK! "

I hope you weren't offended by my earlier response, as no offence was intended. I should have clarified that old machine specific books should always be considered, and as you said, all new and old books improve our knowledge. 1967 was a particularly good year as it happens to be the year in which I was born.teeth 2

You mentioned "The rest of us tend to take a lot of this stuff for granted", and that is the real issue I am trying to address on a daily basis. Believe me when I tell you that a high percentage of the people who ask the question as the OP did (with respect to the OP), still have limited knowledge, even though they did an apprenticeship in the last century. But they will only admit to this during a phone conversation... when they are about to order the wrong thing.

I am trying to change the forum culture to start getting away from just recommending the old traditional books, to include old and new books. Yes this improves sales of new books, but my motives are more educational than profit. It makes the new people understand and order products correctly when they call or place an order over the website, be it from ARC or anyone else, and in turn makes the hobby experience better for all concerned.

I think I said enough about what I wanted to put across. Having read another thread on Tormach CNC, I wanted to avoid coming across over pushy wanting to sell the beginners titles, as this is really not the case. I also believe that the Tormach CNC book thread was trying to be helpful for anyone considering CNC, but each person forms their own opinion.

Sadly I have found that some new people find it difficult to respect comments made by vendors like me, viewing such comments as just another comment made by a box shifter, especially as they don't know me, and some of them know better from YouTube.

Again, no offence intended to anyone who mentioned YouTube channels earlier. There are good and bad channels. Good channels improve knowledge. It is the bad ones which create problems when the viewer starts respecting and following the wrong ideas being presented by a person who doesn't really know what they are talking about, making a presentation without understanding, for others to follow. Reading some of the subscribers comments is like read comments made by the blind following and worshiping the blind.

Take care care Pete.

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 19/06/2022 12:52:53

19/06/2022 11:12:09
Posted by Hopper on 19/06/2022 10:00:45:

And to be fair, Neil's book is more about modern lathes, not the vintage Atlas the OP has, hence the recommendations for equally ancient books that address the foibles/needs of machines past.

You are correct up to a certain point Hopper.

The observations we have made resulted in the books for beginners. I will explain:

The old books for the older machines have their place. They were written by engineers, for engineers - many of whom had full time engineering jobs - training / apprenticeships, and who were thought metalwork on mills and lathes in school. So most of the readers of such books had a good chance of understanding what they were reading, especially the terminology.

As metalwork started to get phased out of schools, new people wishing to use a lathe or mill started to have problems. You only have to stand and observe such people at shows watching a demonstration on a lathe or mill on the SMEE demo stand, to see the puzzlement in their eyes, desire to ask questions but failing to do so for fear of looking stupid. You could also see that a lot of the terminology spoken by the demonstrators going over their viewers head.

Many of these new people buy the old second hand lathes, along with the well respected old school books mentioned above, or watch You Tube. Some get on great, and some don't. A good percentage of these new people have a lot of enthusiasm, but have yet to figure out what is a headstock, tailstock, centre - dead/live/revolving/rolling tailstock arbor and so on. We know this based on the telephone calls we get - especially from new buyers who have very limited ideas about the tools they are buying.... at last one call a day!

Such new people have had zero training at school/collage. They are unable to join a club for various personal reasons, but they want to make something. The titles sold by ARC, written by Neil and Jason specifically Lathework for Beginners and Milling for Beginners are directed at such an audience. A good percentage of the people who have purchased these books from us have old lathes, along with the old books. After understanding the basics in the beginner books we sell, it helps them understand the older books better.

In the U.S., we successfully distribute these two titles through Little Machine Shop. A good percentage of their customers have old mills and lathes too, and they too found the same results as we did. Like Jason, they mentioned that the modern books suggest alternative products or updated tooling/terminology to what is suggested in the old books.

In my opinion, the new books complement the old. smiley

Ketan at ARC.


Edited By Ketan Swali on 19/06/2022 11:15:39

19/06/2022 09:47:14
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 19/06/2022 06:49:32:

It just shows the power of flashing adverts as per the ones on the Top right hand side of the home page !!

The advert has a reasonable return on investment - conversion rate.

Thank you.smiley

Ketan at ARC

Thread: Hello - Uni or apprenticeship
26/05/2022 15:53:23

Hello Christine,

Here is an example of current apprenticeships at RR.. submarines related, rather than aeronautical..


Ketan at ARC

Thread: BB22 Headstock Lathe Bearing
09/05/2022 15:10:23

Glad to read you are getting there. smiley

Ketan at ARC

Thread: Cj18a mini lathe
04/05/2022 13:56:15


Cant help you directly with an answer. Perhaps Anthony may be able to assist.

The last time the C3-181 switch was discussed was on 15 April 2015. on following thread. Perhapsthis may give you some assistance.

Ketan at ARC

03/05/2022 11:59:37
Posted by Anthony Knights on 02/05/2022 13:04:36:

The motor on my Clarke CL300 lathe is a 180volt DC permanent magnet brushed motor, rated at 350(chinese) watts.The control unit shown is rated at 500 (chinese) watts and works fine on my lathe.

Just need to clarify...with respect, the figures stated are Clarke watts, rather than Chinese watts. Its a machine manufactured for Clarke, and the figures stated are those as specifically required to be stated by Clarke on their machine.... as manufacturer of the machine. the sub-contract manufacturer has followed Clarke's requirements - instructions. Clarke can choose what they want to be specified - input/output or some other watts, but I can confirm that the stated figures are not the ones speified by the sub-contract Chinese factory.

Ketan at ARC

Thread: Arc Euro Trade status
10/04/2022 05:45:31
Posted by Peter Greene 🇨🇦 on 09/04/2022 23:15:58:

Posted by Ketan Swali on 09/04/2022 21:07:00:

However, some people at certain locations in U.K. are still having a problem after clearing cookies. It is difficult to figure out why this is,

Use of VPNs ?

Yes Peter, that can be one of the down sides after our using the geolocation software, and this was discussed in the links referred to earlier. If VPN is knowingly turned on by visitor, it can be dealt with - turned off easily if the visitor chooses to do so. If visitors browser, isp, or protection software use vpn automatically, and if it cannot be turned off, then it can become an issue depending on how/vpn decides to route the visitor.

Ketan at ARC

09/04/2022 21:07:00


Ian is on holiday. He will be back to work on Monday. As he will be spending time to catch up on outstanding issues, I am happy to respond.

Dave - SOD has covered the issues in his post by providing links to related posts. Generally these problems have resulted from our updating the website to provide a better more inclusive shopping experience to our European visitor base.

The updated site looks at where the visitor is from by using I.P. geolocation software. If the visitors I.P. location is identified as being from one of the 27 EU states, the site automatically gives them prices in Euros only, and calculates all costs in Euros including carriage, duties and taxes for their specific country.

This change has however effected a small percentage (I think) of our U.K. visitors. Most such visitors find that the problem clears itself after a few days, or by clearing old cookies based on our site pre-update. However, some people at certain locations in U.K. are still having a problem after clearing cookies. It is difficult to figure out why this is, and for this I can only apologise. All I can suggest is if you know what you need, give us a call and we will try our best to assist.

Thank you,

Ketan at ARC

Thread: Sieg SC3-400 upgrade progress
17/03/2022 14:11:40

In response to Drews understandable concerns over my highjacking his thread, I requested my comments along with the related responses to be removed.smiley

Ketan at ARC

Thread: ARC website issues with Apple-Safari 15.3, Plusnet, VPN
07/03/2022 15:45:54

JohnF - Thank you for checking.

MichaelG - Thanks Michael. So far we have not seen any adverse issue caused by 'Use Hide My Email on Mac'. However, my team and I will monitor this too, in case a problem arising as a result of this.

Ketan at ARC

07/03/2022 15:26:40
Posted by Mark Rand on 06/03/2022 19:50:24:

for Ketan, there is the option of allowing theuser to select a location/currency from a drop down list to override the default selection.

Hi Mark,

Long time no see. We are open to visitors now you know.

Regarding location/currency from a drop down list to override the default selection is an option I had considered and dropped early on when setting the brief, because the option raised other 'what if' questions which in turn would have created other problems.

Ketan at ARC

06/03/2022 18:13:07

Thank you all for your feedback via this thread, as well as via pm. I have taken these comments on-board.

Calum : Your point about where our site is hosted in the U.K. is an issue which I have had at the back of my mind. It is something I will take up in combination with the detailed breakdown of the error provided by a customer.

I am grateful to everyone for taking the time to check and comment.

Ketan at ARC

Thread: Testing the Euro / IOSS
06/03/2022 12:02:57
Posted by noel shelley on 05/03/2022 22:37:00:

What a nightmare, Though I hope there' s light at the endof the tunnel ! Good luck and best wishes Ketan , Noel..

Hi Noel,

Thank you for your kind wishes. For me it wasn't a nightmare.

I have approached this as a project. An opportunity to re-use the skills which I learned in the 1980s at Collage and night school leading to Institute of Export qualification, followed by earlier employment in Import/Export Sales department at Pepe Jeans, where I ultimately utilised these skills and learned more in the Import/Export trade, specialising in working with U.K.DTI, HMRC Customs and foreign customs.

According to Wikipedia, in 1993 the EU became a single market, resulting in free movement of goods between member states including the U.K.. As a result, everyone became an importer/exporter, and as the internet grew, with the growth of Amazon and eBay and such platforms, it became easy for anyone to import/export goods. So demands, understanding and use of skills I had learned became more or less redundant over time.

Then came BREXIT smiley

So now came an opportunity to use my skills again, which were mothballed for a long time. From what I could see, everything in terms of export procedures including customs entries U.K. and EU and tarriff codes, terms and procedures are still more or less the same as they were pre-1993.

If anything, it is much more easier to do things now then they were pre-1993. Easier to look up tarriff code, prepare information to give to the couriers etc.. No more having to sit at a golf ball typewriter having to fill out documents in sets of 6, making mistakes and re-typing. No more having to look up tarriff codes in big 5" thick two volume tarriff books. No more looking up Croner Trade Guide book for every country. Everything now is electronic and on-line. In theory, this makes the job easier.

However, the new generation of employees in retail sales companies, HMRC U.K., Department of Trade, overseas customs in the 27 states, as well as postal systems, and couriers were not prepared post BREXIT. Nothing to do with government. More to do with the fact that most of them do not have the qualifications required, because they too were all used to the easy life pre-BREXIT.

RESULT: The sales reps for the couriers in my region tell me that most independent companies of similar size to us in their portfolio have heavily reduced their sales into EU, or given up retail IOSS/DTP e-commerce exporting to EU. A blue chip company near us with multi-million pounds retail e-commerce sales into EU has also given up. Many are doing such business through Amazon, eBay and such platforms, to get around 'the perceived headache'. This is understandable, but sad.

The time, effort and cost to implement these changes is huge. I went into this project out of self interest. Although I have enjoyed the ups and downs with the process, it is too early to say how well it will work, and how long it will take to payback the investment.

Ketan at ARC

Edited By Ketan Swali on 06/03/2022 12:03:41

Thread: ARC website issues with Apple-Safari 15.3, Plusnet, VPN
05/03/2022 21:11:41

Background: On 12th of February this year the way our website works was updated. When a person visits our site, it checks the IP location of the customer. If the customer is from one of the 27 EU states, it automatically quotes prices in Euros, and quotes carriage, handling,duties and taxes to their destination delivery address for B2C customers.

We have done this to try and bring back customers lost post Brexit, due to uncertainty over costs which a customer would face once their goods arrived in their country.

So far, indications are that the new changes are working.

Above is the positive aspect of this development. However, we are now seeing some new issues arise. For this I seek assistance from Apple Mac - Safari browser, Plusnet, and VPN users.

Apple Mac - Safari browser users : Around 25% of people who visit our site use Safari. I am unable to check which version of Safari they use. Some customers who use Safari have contacted us with different issues:

  • Unable to connect to our website. In two cases, clearing the history cured their problem. They did not have the latest version of Safari, and could not update to 15.3 because of older OS.
  • In two cases, they have updated/have the latest version of Safari 15.3, in which the security settings are automatically set as below.

screenshot 2022-03-04 at 14.49.49.jpg

screenshot 2022-03-04 at 14.49.24.jpg

  • Depending on where a customer is based in the U.K., it seems that Apple - Safari 15.3 may use ‘their own VPN’ in remote areas of U.K. to route the link. The result is wrong carriage being shown to the customer if the Apple VPN is routing via a foreign country. ‘un-ticking’ the ‘Hide IP address from trackers seems to cure the problem.
  • One customer was not prepared to un-tick the box (which is a right we respect). In his case, we advised him to log-in (which has his correct U.K. address) and once he proceeds to the check-out, it calculates the carriage correctly.
  • I updated my Mac book at home to the latest version, as above, and I failed to see the same problem.
  • Clearing history for two other Apple users also solved the problem.

So if you are an Apple Mac user, and if you are willing to assist, could I please request you to see if you are able to visit our site on your old or new version of Safari to see if you come across any of the above issues?, and if so, does clearing the HISTORY, or unticking the said box temporarily (if you are willing to do so) on the latest version of Safari cure the problem, or using Google or Firefox cures the problem?. If not, please details version of Safari being used, with box ticked/unticked.

Depending on the response publicly (or by PM), I will be able to understand how big the problem is, and if there is a need for us to consider adding a pop-up at the beginning for Apple and/or VPN users, or do nothing and hope that the issue will resolve over time.

Plusnet users - Two customers who use Plusnet were simply unable to get onto our site. Trying to get on resulted in an application runtime error:


I am unsure if this is due to Plusnet blocking our site for some reason or something else.

So if you are a Plusnet user, and if you are willing to assist, could I please request you to see if you are able to visit our site? If not, could you please advise if you are a Windows or Apple user, along with details of which browser you are using. If you do have a problem, please see if removing cookie history cures the problem too... in most cases it cures the problem, but if you still have an issue, and if you are using Plusnet, it would be good to know.

VPN users - If you are based in the U.K., and if you are using a VPN, and if you have an option to use U.K. as the VPN location country, could I please request you to set it as U.K. when visiting our site for reasons mentioned above.

Finally, if you are experiencing the above difficulties when visiting our site, I apologies for any inconvenience. My team and I will try to resolve the issues and in the mean time, in case of difficulty, as an alternative solution to placing an order through our site, you are always welcome to call us to place your orders over the phone (U.K. only).

Thank you,

Ketan at ARC

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