29 Jul 2007
|Printable version | Email to a friend|
|New Manufacturer's Perversion|
I never cease to be amazed by the incidence of tools which don't work, and like to refer to them as Manufacturer's Perversions.
More seriously they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding, thought and care by the manufacturer.
The latest example is a beech cutting gauge from Marples with brass wear strips.
At first I was pleased to note a better made square section brass wedge with a hook on the top to stop it dropping through the hole in the stem, or possibly to aid retreival.
In the past we have been offered cast wedges which were rough and out of square and worse still conical wedges that are almost impossible to fit.
However the morticed hole is 1/4" square and when one surface has been carefully pared to match the slope of the wedge, the cutting blade cannot be fixed without a thin packer.........
If the packer is not of a precise thickness, the brass wedge will have to be shortened as well.
The blades are disgrace. Spring or scraper grade steel has been crudely sheared off at a width, well under the 1/4" dimension of the hole. The cutting edge has rudimentary grinding at 45 degrees and the blades are almost always bent in their length which makes flat side polishing difficult.
These tools are about as far from 'ready to go' as it is possible to get, with an inbuilt design flaw that requires the user to supply a missing part.
I would rather shoot myself than sell such a badly thought out kit of parts.
|posted by davidcharl at 09:14 | comments |
|posted by davidcharl||23 Aug 2007 at 22:25|
Delighted to report that Tony Marples has kindly sent some larger wedges which would have solved the problem if I had not already fixed it......Will post my modification soon when current short courses are done.
Good customer service is most praiseworthy.
I am surprised at the lack of comment to the post. Has no one else experienced this problem?
|posted by davidcharl||27 Aug 2007 at 07:57|
Thank you. I have been amazed and infuriated by the crude manufacture of so many woodworking tools for over 30 years.
Today we seem to be in a golden age of small specialist producers, if one can afford them, but the traditional tat continues to frustrate the unwary beginner who tends to believe it must be his fault instead of the tool's.
All I can say is that I know Mike Hudson is doing the best job he can with the equipment and resources he is given. There have been many improvements since I was sent the first ones to test.
|posted by davidcharl||29 Aug 2007 at 21:54|
Thank you. It is this lack of honest and reliable information that has exercised me for the last 35 years.
The subject arose today with a new student when we discovered that his £20 "straight" edge had a bump of between 7 & 8 thousandth's of an inch in its 500 mm length.
It is not sold with any tolerance and the small print states; N.B. These edges are not intended for high precision engineering work.
However the description also states;
"Ideal for checking flatness of timber, machine tables, cylinder heads etc."
It seems to me that these two statements are incompatible.
I will have to check with the vendor or manufacturer to see if any tolerance exists, but a "Straight" edge without a clear tolerance is of very little practical use.
My second dvd shows how easy it is to plane the edge of a 15" piece of timber, approximately one to two thou hollow, with a well tuned jack plane.
I choose to make it hollow as this is generally infinitely preferable to bumpy.
I had better stop now because the full rant would take most of the night!
|posted by Jake Sale||1 Sep 2007 at 00:15|
I think we are all agreeing here, we donít expect the best quality marking gauge for £10 but we do expect it to more or less work. If you want perfection it will probably look like a Lie-Nielsen Tite Mark @ £75 unless of course you go for a Colen Clenton but thatís serious piece of kit.
I donít believe Iím unrealistic, Iím not expecting a £40 Footprint No5 will be as true as a Lie-Nielsen no5 @£220 . And I would not even expect a Clifton No5 @£165 to stand up to the LN.
But I do expect to sold a product open and honestly. I mean tell me what Iím getting myself into; give me the option to spend a day tuning a tool. Don't ignor the limits of the product.
Although Vincent is probably right, Iíll make mine a LN!
All the Best
|posted by Michael Forster||23 Jul 2008 at 20:17|
i get very angry about the sale of cheap tat - often with words such as 'quality' on the box - to unsuspecting buyers. When I trained as a joiner to improver level in the sixties, no one as far as I know had done the kind of work David has, and I didn't realise just what awful tools I was using to earn my living. I do know that I decided after a short time that the trade wasnt' the place for me and retrained for another career. Now as a hobbyist, having devoured the books and DVDs currently available from Hartland, I'm working to completely different standards - I keep telling David he should offer correspondence courses!
I'm lucky - writing about woodworking for GMC has enabled me to afford fine tools just in time for my retirement when I'll have the time really to use them. So i spend minimal time tuning and get the tools straight to work - and I now know what a difference good tools can make. I wonder how many people, like me - even though 'professionally' trained - have blamed themselves and given up. Thank goodness I got a second chance - maybe if I'd met david in time I'd have stayed and made it in the wood trade.