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Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by JFComfort, May 12, 2012.
Grizzly G4003G Gunsmith
I always wondered what that clowns first name was......
Glad he helped you. I wouldn't buy a sack of rotten potatoes from them or him.
Just keep in mind that when you purchase anything from them you increase the trade imbalance, you prostiture American workers and you further his agenda.
Far as I'm concerned he and his company are a POS for the above reasons and a whole lot more.
Who would you buy a sack of rotten potatoes from?
Besides that, your post has nothing to do with gunsmithing and is nothing more than a rant that comes rather close to what is not allowed on this board.
In all that, you failed to ask why I feel that way. Not a rant per se' but a fact of doing business, no matter how rotten the business ethic is.
In actuality, I have no issue with Balola providing an avenue for inexpensive machine tools and accessories, albeit from third world countries, manufactured by people making a fraction of what we consider an equitable wage and living standard, not that those standards ar some point won't be the norm in this country as well, maybe not in my lifetime, but at some point, I suspect.....
South Bend Lathe was, at one time, a viable manufacturer of machine tools, based in South Bend Indiana. They manufactured a line of machine tools, many of which wound up in schools, in the military and in the private sector. SBL was respected as a machine tool builder, making a quality, American Made machine that could be relied on for accuracy, at a reasonable price. In fact, if you enrolled in a technical school, you probably ran a South Bend Lathe. Even today, South Bend Lathes of vintage origin are prized collectible, especially if in good working order, I know, I have 3 and they are first class machines.
On to what occurred. SBL began it's descent into the black hole of receivership when it became an ESOP many years ago. The governing board decided that it would be more expedient to have it's castings (for lathe beds, carriage parts and accessories, cast overseas instead of in domestic foundries. This was well before Bill Clinton and NAFTA and was forward thinking on the part of SBL as far as bottom line profit was concerned, but a problem arose. All the wood patterns that SBL sent to China, were used as firewood by the Chinese and SBL has no recourse but to make new patterns and resume domestic casting at a great expense, I might add.
SBL then ran into financial issues because the ESOP was ill equipped to make major decisions concerning the then declining marketplace, a marketplace being infiltrated by offshore manufacturers of machinery. Respected manufacturers like Lodge and Shipley, Warner and Swazey, Cincinnati, Monarch Machine Tool, Minster Manufacturing and others, were falling by the wayside, victims of the influx of less expensive and oftentimes better quality machines, imported by entities that had no manufacturing stake in this country, other than perhaps some office and R&D personnel. In other words, the American factory worker, the backbone and lifeblood of our economy was being replaced because they were no longer competitive.
SBL went into receivership. Le Blond holdings bought the tangible assets of SBL and began to dismantle the company. Workers that weren't previously laid off were let go, the physical plant was sold at auction and leftover inventory was auctioned off.
All that remained of the original American Icon was the registered trade name, South Bend Lathe Corporation, and along comes Balola, smelling an opportunity to cash in on an iconic name..... Balola bought the rights to the South Bend Lathe Company trademark, much like Ford Motor sold the rights to the trade mark 'Blue Oval' to finance it's ongoing operations, however, Fords used the sale as a hedge against bankruptcy with the intent of buying it back again, SBL was already defunct.
To make a long story short, Balola (because he owns the trademark now), can apply it to anything he chooses, which he does. He applies it to imported, chi com made machine tools, something that I have an issue with because, one, I'm proud to be an American, two, because I remember what the SBL trademark stood for and three, because I find it in poor taste from a business perspective, to prostitute something synonymous with our heritage as the greatest industrial nation on this globe.
Maybe you don't understand that, maybe you do. Our world has changed in the last 30 years, but prostituting for personal gain, anything that was established and has become a recognized trade name, long before Balola was even a gleam in his father's eye, is....
IMO and other people who know, a sack of rotten potatoes.
Not a rant, just facts as they stand today.
A professional machinist wouldn't have a Griz. Might be alright for a hobbiest, but so will many used American made lathes. This "Gunsmith Lathe" tag that's been given to some of these lathes,,,,,, nothing more than a sales pitch. Any lathe, in good condition, with a spindle bore of 1 3/8" or bigger will do barrel work (as long as it has a lead screw and threading dial). Nice to have a 36"+ center to center length, too. I'm not much on imported machines or tooling for them and go out of my way to avoid them whenever possible, not an easy task today. Ya',,,, hear lots of positive on the net about Griz,,, then hear of chatter and "vibrations" from others. Hear positive because of price,,,,,, complaints and requests for 'fixes' when it won't preform as expected. I even went thru a thread (on another forum) where the proud owner was thinking of changing spindle bearings to try to 'improve' his Chinese import. ??????????????????? Too bad 99% of the steel I cut is imported.
Sidecar, I never questioned your facts. I know how things work as well as anyone else. I come to this site to learn about and share knowledge of LR hunting, not the status of the global economy.
You've crapped your opinion all over what started as a very good gunsmithing thread.
Prostitution for personal gain is also called capitalism. A free market serves the consumer at the cost of the weakest supplier.
Shortgrass, while not professional machinists I do know that there are professional gunsmiths that use the Grizzly lathes.
Not my opinion but rather the facts as it pertains to the very existence you and I and everyone else here cherishes.
In as much as I'm in business and own a machine and fabrication shop, I fully understand (well as best as I can and still be profitable), free market capitalism. However, the very essence of it is slanted as far as consumption by us versus consumption by them but that's not germane to this thread.
The only reason I expressed my virw in the first place was the OP's comment about South Bend Machines being so expensive. Ironically, those machines are just rebadged chinese machines wearing Balola's bought and paid for trademark.
He's all about free market capitalism and lopsided trade deficit that's made him rich and I don't fault him. I foault those who are purchasing his machines.
My take on any machine is... If it works and it fits your parameters buy it.
I didn't 'crap' anywhere. All I did was present a small part of what's occuring in this country and what the end result will be. I'll be push'in up daisy's by then.
You, as an adult (I presume) have to make your own choices and live with those choices just as I do.
I believe first and foremost to buy American at all times possible, to support my country and it's workers because I'm still proud to be an American and I still believe this is the greatest country in the world. Do you?
If you feel thats crap, why don't you immigrate to China and see first hand just what living there is all about.
I said my piece. You can absorb it and benefit from it or you can blow it off. Your choice, your freedom, for now.
I graduated from Montgomery Community Colleges' two year gunsmithing program in '93. Had 17 years of job shop machining experience before I went. Been gunsmithing/custom chambering since I graduated. Still doing both, gunsmithing and job shop machining. Professional enough?
Well SidecarFlip you have added some very interesting information to the discussion. Not in the direction I would have figured this thread would go but a direction non the less.
I do believe in your right to express your opinion and I appreciate you filling us in on one side of the story, this is a forum after all. If I ever get to sit down with Mr. Shiraz Balolia I will be sure to get his prospective on the matter.
I think from your point of view you have painted a very accurate picture but I do want to ask you your opinion on union's and how they fit in to the context of the end market place.
South Bend Lathe - What Can We Learn from an ESOP Failure.
I'm not looking to argue with but I figure I would offer other views for people who may come across this thread.
Shortgrass, read what I wrote again. I was not calling you out, or questioning your qualifications.
I was just pointing out that it may not be considered adequate for professional machinists(I agree with you), but it has proven to be adequate for some professional gunsmiths.
As far as I know there arent any lathes made in america anymore. I dont think you can even buy a american chuck since Buck went to china. I dont own a grizzly, but I do own a sheldon and a import lathe. Is the sheldon better, hell yes does the import work? again yes. I have a friend at work who bought the grizzly 4003g lathe a few years ago and loves it we have worked in the same machine shops over the years running hardinge, clausings, monarchs, southbends etc and it is good enough for him and his home use.
I see whiny posts about us guys who buy an import lathe all the time but I have yet to see any one of you put your money where you mouth is an get us an American made lathe!! These import lathes are likely respocible for more American jobs any way, from the docks to the show room Grizzly is employing Americans. Shiraz is captain of the American F class team as well.
I know of a couple full time machine shops and top builders that build on Grizzly machines!
JE building your own rifles is so sweet, I put together a rifle for my buddy and then spotted for him as he spanked targets from 800 yards to over 1900 yards, I think I was more jacked than he was
........Shiraz is captain of the American F class team as well....... So tell us, does he shoot a Chinese rifle?
Far as American made lathes or American made machines, there are plenty out there that need good homes and of course rebuilding.
For example, my favorite engine lathe, a LeBlond Servo shift toolroom lathe with frequency drive came from a machinery liquidator and needed a lot of TLC, but if the bones are good, everything is rebuildable. I spent 4 long years rebuilding 2 South bend Lathes from the ground up, one I sold and I kept one, but then I like old, American made machinery.
There are literally volumes written on the rise and failure of SBL both pro and con and dissecting the scenario in it's entirety can take a long time, depending on which way one leans both in respect to unions and in respect to management.
All I wanted to do was illustrate what Balola and Grizzly represented as it pertains to the original tradename and that is nothing more than a rebadged chiinese machine. Nothing more.......
I consider myself fortunate that prior to the demise, I was able to get a number of proprietary prints for a couple rebuilds and some intrinsic parts as well.
Certainly no whining on my part intended or warranted. You won't find any Balola machinery in my shop but that is entirely my choice and candidly, I'm not a gunsmith and I only fiddle with guns as a hobby and then it's mostly trigger groups.
I do have my journeymans card in tool and die making. I served my apprentiship at Standard Products Company in Cleveland, Ohio and I own my own machine and fabrication shop. We produce items that are in no way related to anything discussed on this forum, not even remotely firearm related.
I woud suggest to find another use for the copper stranded wire that is protecting the barrel in your picture. Common and accepted practice is to use soft jaw caps of a known thickness to prevent marring of a finish.
I like to shoot and exercise my Second Amendment right to bear arms, especially long range rifles, which, is why I'm here in the first place. This forum is a great place to learn and while I'm fairly ancient, I can still learn and adapt.
Finally, my take on unions is simply that if it weren't for organized labor, the fringe benefits that most workers receive today in an industrial setting would never have come about. Having said that, I'm on the fence considering unions today, especially a closed shop. I believe it's the workers right to choose representation rather than be forced, as a condition of employment, to join the union.
No, my shop is not union. Somehow, I don't believe any union would be interested in a 3 employee shop. Not enough revenue.
Enjoy your Chinese lathe. If it serves your needs and fits your budget, that's all one can ask.
I merely wanted to point out the what if rather than the obvious.