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Super Mini Lathe belt problem

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andrew lyner14/06/2019 11:03:46
117 forum posts
1 photos

My super mini lathe belt kept slipping under load (that grating / squealing noise). Adjusting the two mounting bolts would tighten the belt but it would just go slack again after any load was applied. It even made the noise on start-up. I was cross enough to take off the motor and spotted the problem. Two of the mounting screws for the adaptor / base plate were missing (holes would not allow fitting).

The plate was swinging out enough to strip the threads on the mounting bolts in the threaded holes in the (inadequately thin) plate - so that's useless too, now. It looks as though the motor holes were drilled wrongly in the first place; all a bit of a dog's dinner, really.

Warco have been very helpful and will send me a replacement motor (I can't wait) but it shows the effect of poor quality control. But we shouldn't grumble because, without those compromises, many of us would not own a lathe at all.

Fault finding can be enjoyable too!

lathe motor.jpg

Former Member14/06/2019 15:10:00

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andrew lyner14/06/2019 17:13:34
117 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 14/06/2019 15:10:00:

Good grief, is that what Warco are peddling?

Interesting that the replacement motor has an altogether better finish with smaller countersunk heads - showing that the holes were drilled in the right places.

Can't fault Warco on response time. The new motor was delivered just over 24hours after my email to them.

I think your term "peddling" is a bit loaded. If we pay peanuts then there will be the occasional monkey situation. These Chinese machines are very cheap and that always carries a risk. Caveat emptor always applies.

An Other14/06/2019 18:07:46
122 forum posts

Wasn't it possible/cheaper to make up a new base plate which fitted?.

Former Member14/06/2019 18:24:47

[This posting has been removed]

mark costello 114/06/2019 19:12:38
avatar
534 forum posts
12 photos

Fault finding IS fun, as long as it's Some body else's fault.

SillyOldDuffer14/06/2019 19:47:19
4590 forum posts
980 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 14/06/2019 18:24:47:

I thought as a country we'd moved on from accepting shoddy crap like this when we stopped buying British cars, but now the Chinese are wearing the Donkey jackets...

I weep for the future.

It's the Ryan Air model; dreadful reputation but most of the time they get you were want to go cheap!

Don't forget these are Hobby Lathes, built down to a price for a rather small customer base. It's perfectly possible to buy much better machines from China and elsewhere. Few hobbyists do, because they are 5 to 20 times more expensive!

Thing is, if you are unlucky enough to get a dud, a British seller will stand behind the sale. In this case Warco supplied another motor, it's not unknown for entire machines to be replaced or money returned. Given that new 'quality' machines are unaffordium, the beginner either takes a small risk on a new hobby lathe, or a bigger risk on a second-hand professional machine.

Satisfied with my Far Eastern machines. May not be excellent compared with big money purchases, but they all do what I want.

Dave

Former Member14/06/2019 20:37:00

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Ian Skeldon 214/06/2019 21:10:40
374 forum posts
29 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 14/06/2019 20:37:00:

Perhaps what they say is true, a Chinese lathe at this price is a kit of parts. Sad though. 1000? years of development of this tool and this is where we're at? Really?

Well as you have mentioned it, yes it is where we are at, however all is not lost in fact it's better than it ever was. Many, many years ago I wanted to own my own lathe, an engineering company were selling a couple of old Herbert's, even though they were well worn and very basic they wanted almost a years salary for them, (I was in my last year of apprenticeship so my salary wasn't great). Move on to where we are now and I can engage a few places who can discuss my needs (wants more than need) and then sell me a new lathe suitable to my requirements. It might not be up there with the best available, but look at the cost of a British lathe similar in function, (say a new Myford) I couldn't justify such a purchase even if I could afford it.

Hopefully the OP will get many years of use and enjoyment from his lathe and he knows that Warco are there to help if needed.

old mart14/06/2019 21:14:07
439 forum posts
42 photos

It's nice to know that a British importer stands behind their products, well done Warco.

 By the way, if you make a note of the number on the belt, you can get a replacement easily.

Edited By old mart on 14/06/2019 21:15:57

Former Member14/06/2019 22:57:15

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not done it yet14/06/2019 23:19:58
3236 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 14/06/2019 22:57:15:

Well done Warco for passing on a pile of crap for quick profit. They'll be gone soon, I guarantee it. You can see it coming.

I don’t like bang good, for a very good reason - they sell cheap stuff but have no customer service when the goods are really rubbish (which they often are?)

Why do you dislike Warco?

Ian S C15/06/2019 12:57:04
avatar
7438 forum posts
230 photos

My answer to quality complainers is if you can make for the same price at better quality why are you not doing it. Admittedly quite a bit of the price goes to the retailer in mark up.

Ian S C

Howard Lewis15/06/2019 15:45:01
2207 forum posts
2 photos

Warco have been in business for a long time. Not all that they sell is faultless, but they are willing to try to right matters if there is a problem, even to replacing complete machines.

Statistical Quality Control, as per Deeming, depends up on how many standard deviations you want your product to fall within. Even if you go for 3 standard deviations, which is about the best that you can get, there can still be a small percentage falling outside the specification.

If you elect to hand build every unit, you may well get even bigger differences from item to item

Steam locomotives were hand built by craftsmen, but unless it was G W R, direct interchangeability of parts was nigh on impossible.

You can make any machine virtually perfect, if you resort to such methods, but they are slow, and therefore costly, and the parts are likely to be unique to that machine.

The skill is in design, and manufacture, such that almost 100% of machines meet the specification. You will always get a small percentage that fall at the ends of the Gaussian distribution, (Bell Curve ). Hopefully, Inspection will spot the batches that do not comply and reject them before assembly.

With our hobby facilities, we cannot hope, nor wish, to produce thousands of interchangeable parts and consistent complete assemblies..

The above may be a difficult concept to grasp if you have no experience of high volume production. But producing large numbers of complicated machines that meet specification depends upon a variety of skills and disciplne. NO it is meant to be singular (BS 5750 and it's succesor, ISO 9000, for instance )

We've all heard of Friday afternoon cars, haven't we? Sadly, some may have experienced them. They are ones where the process failed. Think of the number of components in the modern car, and wonder that so many cars work so well, for so long. Japanese cars showed, via an American's methods, and still do, the way for other manufacturers.

Mass production lives on "Fitness for Purpose", so that most do what they are intended to do.

Howard

andrew lyner15/06/2019 17:52:38
117 forum posts
1 photos

This thread has some very angry comments. That's surprising when you think that there are so many mini lathe users who get pleasure plus results from them. I have already commented that the "small customer base" would not exist at all if it was necessary to buy an elderly (possibly totally knackered) british machine and renovate it oneself. The value of a new mini is fantastic when you add up all the parts involved and the total comes to signirificantly less than £1k. eBay has some very sad looking cases of, perhaps, excellent old machines and people still want a lot of money for them. Without having an existing workshop to 'do it up' with, such a machine is not much more than a door stop.

If one has spent life in the professional business then it is reasonable to look down ones nose at the 'cheap tat' but it's horses for courses and my mini has been good value after only a few months of use.

On a point of detail, I would be interested to hear if anyone else has needed to tension a drive belt on a mini and come across a 'third' bolt, pointing downwards near the motor body. It seems to have not particular function except to help with the tensioning. It's in just the right place and it doesn't seem to be tightened on my mini. I would use it if that's what it's for.

Former Member15/06/2019 18:20:44

[This posting has been removed]

SillyOldDuffer15/06/2019 18:29:05
4590 forum posts
980 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 14/06/2019 20:37:00:

Is this what happens when a worker tries to own the means of production?!

Perhaps what they say is true, a Chinese lathe at this price is a kit of parts. Sad though. 1000? years of development of this tool and this is where we're at? Really?

Nothing to do with communism.

However, the comment helps answer Haggerleases' earlier 'what lathe' queries. He should not buy a Far Eastern Machine! Nothing wrong with this. Better to be comfortable than irritated by your tools, and it's a good reason for paying the extra.

I suggest Cowells. On the small side maybe, but nice lathes and a milling machine with plenty of accessories available, plus the purchase supports British Industry. The cheapest Cowells lathe, (with no accessories?), is £2145.00 + VAT. (£2574) Not sure if carriage is included or not.

Dave

andrew lyner15/06/2019 18:36:16
117 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 15/06/2019 18:20:44:

I'm not angry, just dissappointed really. (Like my parents used to say)...

As a newcomer to the hobby, is this what I can expect for the money I've saved up? If I'd bought that thing new and found that fault I'd be completely gutted.

If I had spent several times as much money and if I had been led to understand that I was getting a high class machine, then I would have been 'disappointed'. I am not 'disappointed' by the experience of flying on EasyJet; it is what it is and it costs what it costs. I have had friends complain that their low cost holiday was not perfect. Why complain? We have just returned from an idyllic holiday with some of the Family in the South of France. It cost a fortune. I was ripped off, yet again, by the car hire but it was no surprise and I am fighting Avis Budget about it (but the word "Budget" is a clue. The rest of it was great because we spent enough on it.

Unfortunately (in some ways) my highest proprieties do not lie in the direction of machine tools but the money goes on other things and I come to terms of getting what I pay for,

On the basis of experience with the mini, I would never recommend anyone buying a second hand one without giving it some extensive examination; so many things to wear out and to go loose. But that would go for almost anything second hand.

andrew lyner15/06/2019 21:06:05
117 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 15/06/2019 18:29:05:
Posted by Haggerleases on 14/06/2019 20:37:00:

Is this what happens when a worker tries to own the means of production?!

Perhaps what they say is true, a Chinese lathe at this price is a kit of parts. Sad though. 1000? years of development of this tool and this is where we're at? Really?

Nothing to do with communism.

However, the comment helps answer Haggerleases' earlier 'what lathe' queries. He should not buy a Far Eastern Machine! Nothing wrong with this. Better to be comfortable than irritated by your tools, and it's a good reason for paying the extra.

I suggest Cowells. On the small side maybe, but nice lathes and a milling machine with plenty of accessories available, plus the purchase supports British Industry. The cheapest Cowells lathe, (with no accessories?), is £2145.00 + VAT. (£2574) Not sure if carriage is included or not.

Dave

If one doesn't happen to have £2.5k to spend, should one just not bother - or wait a few years? That would exclude most young people and any but 'recent lump sum' pensioners, Great if you have the money but not realistic for many of us.

Howard Lewis15/06/2019 21:09:29
2207 forum posts
2 photos

Haggerleases,

You cannot expect to drink Premier Cru Champagne if you only pay the price for a pint of beer.

I spent a lot of my life in Quality and Development, but accept that most of the time you get what you pay for.

I do not expect to find high quality veneer and a cocktail bar in my Toyota Aygo. If I MUST have those, I have to pay for a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley.

Quality costs!

The time devoted to Design, Manufacture, Inspection,Assembly, Adjustment and the material has to paid for, as well as the labour.t..

So if we pay £600 for a Far Eastern lathe, it is unrealistic to expect it to be, and to behave like a £20,000 Industrial machine. The materials will be cheaper, and It will not be as well finished,, or adjusted as the Industrial machine. You cannot get those features for peanuts. The industrial machine is expected to work to tighter tolerance, almost 24/7.

A machine used purely for a hobby, is unlikely to be worked hard, for 40 hours a week, every week.

It sounds as if you joined the hobby too late to have any dealings with the late, and much lamented, John Stevenson. He would have put his comments much more forcibly, and offended you, despite them being accurate.

My Instructors, at Rolls-Royce told me, early on, after I had had a disaster, "The man who never made a mistake; never made anything". We are all human, and from time to we all make mistakes.. It may be annoying, at least, but if you cannot achieve perfection, it is unrealistic to expect it of everyone else.

Howardi

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