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Bad drill press vice. How is this acceptable!?

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Kaleb

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I've got a drill press vice that was jamming up on me, so I took it apart to see where the problem was, and I quickly discovered just how poorly made it was. There were numerous issues.



As you can see, there is a heap of slop between the screw and the movable jaw. I've also had problems with the end of the screw popping out when it's loosened.



And here's why. The groove in the end of the screw does not line up with either of those holes. As for the jamming problem, take a close look at the bottom of this jaw. Can you see the other problem?



You guessed it, bad surface finish. Interestingly, the tool marks indicate that it was faced in a lathe rather than milled. This seems a bit unusual for a mass produced item. I'm certain of what was being done wrong, tool was being fed way too fast. I've heard of increasing feeds to get better productivity but this is ridiculous! The finish is so bad that I wonder why they even bothered machining that surface!



The surface where the jaw plate screws on is also pretty bad. Again, it seems the tool was fed way too fast here.





The other thing that confounds me is the variation in the quality between parts. The base of the vice looks to be a bit better done, and the screw looks a lot better made. Also the fixed jaw has definitely been milled.



But these voids make it look like a bad casting.



And the milled strips down here seem a bit poor as well.

I've started making improvements to take these flaws out where I can. However, does anyone have any ideas to explain the seemingly odd choices of machining methods, and the variation in quality, not to mention how such poor work was allowed to leave the factory?
 

kvom

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Since you paid for it, that's the apparent criteria for the factory. :eek:
 

Hopper

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The Chinese use a lot of sub-contractors to sub-contractors to sub-contractors in their manufacturing so the different parts may have come from different sub-contractors. The jaw contractor may have been one guy in a shed with one lathe, who put in the lowest bid on the job, supplied a few nice looking samples, then upped the feed rate for production so he could make a profit on the contract.

There appears to be little or no quality control in many Chinese outfits. QC consists of exchanging your mis-made item for another one at the retail outlet. Trouble is, the replacement is likely to be no better.

So what you are really buying is not a drill press vice, but a 12-inch to the foot facsimile of a vice, designed to get your money out of your pocket, not to hold items in the drill press.

Apparently it works rather well, if China's economic growth rate is an indicator.

I am to the stage where I go to garage sales, auctions etc etc and would rather buy used British, American or Australian made stuff than new Chinese junk. Even if totally clapped out, the good quality used stuff can be refurbished and you have a good piece of equipment for life. Whereas, even if you go over the Chinese junk and fix it up, you still have a piece of inferior junk. It just works a little better than it did before. For a while.
 

gerritv

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I am getting to the opinion that while the factory produces poor quality, it is the company that is ordering this stuff and then selling it to you that is the real problem.

Why not start blaming the company selling this stuff to you? As with a recent thread on Grizzly and a surface grinder, it is the seller who should be held accountable. They placed the order, they did no quality control. If sellers start demanding better quality, then things will change. Of course we will be paying more money, but you would be getting value?

So start blaming the companies that ship this junk, the factories will provide what is asked for. China makes lots of quality products, but only for those who ask for and pay for that quality. Stop enabling these sellers.

BTW, what did you pay for the vise? $20, so what would you expect???
 

quickcut

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Those drill vices are shocking. I have heard of cases where an importer is shown a good quality article and when the container arrives , the quality is pathetic. This has happened to the company that I work for, when we imported plywood , not machine tool accessories' but I am sure a similar principle applies. You Have very little recourse to your suppliers except to vote with your feet.
 

Kaleb

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Alright then, time to report this to the importer, which I at least think I know.
 

gus

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Chinese Drilling Vises are cheapy stuff. Trying to get a good drilling job on them is a bad gamble.I have given up on them. The two 2 inch ToolMaker's Precision Vise which I bought 5 years ago in Guangzhou City for US$30.00 are still very good. Used them for drilling and even milling jobs.
Webster,Rupnow and Nemett Engines were drilled/tapped and milled on them.Attached foto with Nemett-Lynx Engine Crankcase held with Toolmaker's Vise. Same engine outer-head bevelled with Slitting Saw.
Clamping power was good.
The M.I.C. quick open Toolmaker's Vise from USA vendor was bad and I was refunded.
We cannot expect too much from a $10 vise.

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rodw

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Alright then, time to report this to the importer, which I at least think I know.
Keith, the importer is deemed the manufacturer and must ensure the goods are of merchantable quality and fit for purpose for which it is intended under the Aussie Trades Practices Act. You have strong recourse if you choose to assert your rights.

One of these days, I will spend $150 or so on a good drilling vice..... in the meantime, I get by with my $10 one or use my milling vice.
 

bazmak

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I bought a similar vice with the same problems.But the basic unit is ok
and i had much fun simplifying and modding to get to a good standard
I made a new fitted gib plate from brass,shimmed etc to a good sliding fit
Turned a new recess to the end of the screw and fitted a new pin
Skimmed some faces true etc etc. Is now a much improved unit for $15
Will add photos etc to a mod i did on the saig. Bazmak
 

ShopShoe

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What Bazmak said. I bought a cheap drill press vice and cleaned it up and made modifications. I have several vices and they're all tweaked somehow. I even made one from barstock. I would like to have a Kurt vice on my mill, but I have to consider the other uses I have for the money it would cost. Someday maybe, but I have more needs than money right now.

Your vice does look so bad that it looks like it should be returned, but will they only send you another one like it?

--ShopShoe
 

Kaleb

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The jaw contractor may have been one guy in a shed with one lathe, who put in the lowest bid on the job, supplied a few nice looking samples, then upped the feed rate for production so he could make a profit on the contract.
This possibility raises some interesting questions since that description of a contractor's facilities resembles many of our workshops very closely.

I think it hints at a possibility of some people like myself putting in our own bids on such jobs to help fund our hobby. I would consider myself under less pressure to rush things through since I'm not relying on it to make a living as such, just a bit of extra income on top. I also know how to get tooling that can finish well at higher feeds, read wiper inserts.
 

gus

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Bought Taiwan made 3'' and later 4'' Drilling Vises from a local stockist in 2000 when M.I.C. has yet to flood the market. Cost a wee bit more than the MICs.They lasted till today but my preferred choice is the M.I.C. ToolMaker's Precision Vise

At the TokyuHands outlets, Japanese made vises are no longer sold. There are two types, MICs and MIT(made in Taiwan). Surprising the MIC vises quality is quite good. i guess TokyuHands is aware,if you press the Chinese suppliers to meet your buy price,you get garbage.

I am glad the milling vise that I planned to buy from a USA vendor did happen. May have ended up with a poor quality M.I.C. vise and a very heavy paper weight. The MIC screwless vice which now cost nothing after the refund is still brand new. Just thought a way to reclaim same and use as a milling vise. Q.E.D.

Are there any interesting stories on M.I.C. Milling Vises.
 

bazmak

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Hi Gus im not familiar with mic etc vices. How about some photos
As i said i have done some mods to my cheap drill vice and now looking at stripping down to basic casting and making new feedscrew etc
I now get much pleasure from this type of work than making steam locos
Will post a thread if i have much success.The aim of course to be to enable liht milling ?? Regards barry
 

gus

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OK.
First foto.
M.I.T. aka Made in Taiwan drilling vises. Have no complaints basis the the price paid for 14 years ago.The Slot holes were casted . The slides are still good and not sloppy. USe vise for run of the mill jobs. For engine building,the toolmaker's vise is first choice.

Second foto.
Bought this ToolMaker's Vise on impulse in Guangzhou City. Cost me US$30 in 2009. Still good.
Bought one more as backup in 2009.

Third foto

M.I.C.(Made in China)Screwless vise was nearly a sad story. Paid US$49 DHL not included. Found it impossible to retract or forward. Found a leave spring not properly fastened. Tried to fixed. Beyond rework as slide is hardened. LMS refunded Gus in full. Just found a way to use it w/o the spring. I continue buying from LMS because of their wise refund policy.

MIC tools are best bought in Japan. TokyuHands is a good choice. Some how MIC tools bought there are very high quality.

Taiwan have their own copy cat TokyuHands----------HandsTailoong. Plan to go shopping at same in Taipeh. Their local train takes you to the door step.

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gus

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The M.I.C. ToolMaker's Vise performed very well today. The worm shaft holes on both sides must align.
The 5mm drive shaft went easy 5mm shaft through 5mm spot drill holes.Holes were scribed with Starrett Digital Height Gage from LMS. Starrett has manufacturing plant in Suzhou,China.Its true the Height Gage is M.I.C.
A cheapy MiC drill vise will not perform.

The upgraded RT will be graduated and to be used to cut the cams for the Nemett-Lynx Engine.

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Krutch

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I'm fairly sure quality control has no meaning in China. At least not as we know QC. Their metal content and quality can very from piece to piece.
Seems the average worker is only concerned with his rice allotment for the day. Not how good the product is. Factory owner, too. I think the only oversight is when a foul-up embarrasses the State. The State can and does execute factory owners when that happens. But business as usual still goes on.
I understand to get good work from there an outside supplier has to oversee the mfg. process. From material to final assembly. Good work is possible from china, but not very common.
Hell, look at the tooth paste with anti freeze ingredients in it and the dog food that can kill dogs sent into America and possibly elsewhere in the world.
 

Hopper

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I'm fairly sure quality control has no meaning in China. At least not as we know QC. Their metal content and quality can very from piece to piece. .
Oh, they have quality control all right -- but they use it in reverse. Google "quality fade" and you will find an endless stream of stories like this:

Most of Mr Midler's work is coping with what he calls “quality fade” as the Chinese factories transform what were, in fact, profitless contracts into lucrative relationships. The production cycle he sees is the opposite of the theoretical model of continuous improvement. After resolving teething problems and making products that match specifications, innovation inside the factory turns to cutting costs, often in ways that range from unsavoury to dangerous. Packaging is cheapened, chemical formulations altered, sanitary standards curtailed, and on and on, in a series of continual product debasements.

And this:
It would be unfair, of course, to see all Chinese companies in this light. A few are gaining international recognition for quality, but in contrast, say, to Japan or America, this recognition comes at a cost to the firms themselves because it is accompanied by unpopular scrutiny and compliance. This odd situation became apparent when Mr Midler witnessed large, modern Chinese factories outsourcing work to smaller, grittier, facilities even though this meant forgoing the production benefits from economies of scale. The tiny outfits were in a much better position to skirt environmental controls and safety standards for products and workers.

From here,
http://www.economist.com/node/13642306
( the whole article is worth a read if you want to understand the Chinese manufacturing philosophy, and why importers like to pretend problems don't exist -- because they might end up legally liable.)
 

Hopefuldave

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( the whole article is worth a read if you want to understand the Chinese manufacturing philosophy, and why importers like to pretend problems don't exist -- because they might end up legally liable.)
Sadly too true, I spent a miserable time working for one of England's better-known importers of.Chinese machines and tools, they were ALL of poor quality apart from a couple of lines that were discontinued when the prices either held steady or rose to maintain their production quality...

What we've seen in this thread so far is the "unfit for purpose" but what concerns me more is that the MAJORITY of powered tools (lathes, mills, belt Sanders, grinders etc.) were electrically unsafe with poor earthing, badly over-rated components (e.g. "safety" microswitches rated at less than an Amp carrying the mains input current of up to 10A and downstream of a 13A fuse), poor insulation and diabolical assembly standards.

I tried flagging this to the owner, but "if I don't sell it somebody else will", when customers complained he'd grudgingly agree to rectify the faults on *that individual machine* Profit definitely takes precedence over safety and quality.

That particular importer would and does deceive buyers with "CE" Marks on the electrically powered equipment, in the catalogue and on the website, this is actually "China Export", not what it appears. A true CE MARK can only be displayed after a certification process that includes manufacture to current "best practice" and meeting EU safety standards...
 

gus

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Sadly too true, I spent a miserable time working for one of England's better-known importers of.Chinese machines and tools, they were ALL of poor quality apart from a couple of lines that were discontinued when the prices either held steady or rose to maintain their production quality...

What we've seen in this thread so far is the "unfit for purpose" but what concerns me more is that the MAJORITY of powered tools (lathes, mills, belt Sanders, grinders etc.) were electrically unsafe with poor earthing, badly over-rated components (e.g. "safety" microswitches rated at less than an Amp carrying the mains input current of up to 10A and downstream of a 13A fuse), poor insulation and diabolical assembly standards.

I tried flagging this to the owner, but "if I don't sell it somebody else will", when customers complained he'd grudgingly agree to rectify the faults on *that individual machine* Profit definitely takes precedence over safety and quality.

That particular importer would and does deceive buyers with "CE" Marks on the electrically powered equipment, in the catalogue and on the website, this is actually "China Export", not what it appears. A true CE MARK can only be displayed after a certification process that includes manufacture to current "best practice" and meeting EU safety standards...

Hi Dave,
Spent 7 years in Nanjing , Jiangsu, PRC, trying to improve quality of air compressors. With the owner's personal support,the quality did improve but eventually old quality problems came back. When you have a huge backlog of PET Compressors to clear, QA turned a blind eye.
ISO Certificatons are mostly DUDs except for foreign owned companies. Regular Internal ISO Audits are never done. External Auditors would come in and give a clean bill every year. No such thing such as Corrective Actions.Preventive Actions, Customer Complain Review.

However M.I.C. aka Made in China hand tools sold by TokyuHands,Japan are of very high quality and cost more than same items bought in Singapore.Chinese Suppliers can meet your quality standard basis you are willing to pay like TokyuHands.

2''ToolMakers Vises I bought in Guangzhou were not very expensive nor cheap but they stood up for last ten years.The heat treatment and ground finishing were up to mark.All drilling jobs are done on them.

The drilling vises I viewed were of very poor quality at the hardware shops.

I was shopping for 13mm capacity Bench Drill Press. Taiwan made US$240.
M.I.C. US$120. Plan to buy the Taiwanese Drill Press. Will ask for running test. Finishing wise,the Taiwan Made Driil Press is good.
Motor hp rating honest. The MIC machine is rated at 1/2 hp v/s the Taiwanese 1/3 hp. Both motor frame size same.
 
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