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I Got Burnt!!

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Coomba

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#1
In an attempt to let others know how I was burnt by one of the company's selling mills I'm in the process of putting together a video. And I would also like to come on forums to let everyone know who is looking for a mill, my story. But, I don't know if that is allowed. I'm not trying to flame any one person for their options, just would like to forewarn, would be buyers of the junk I was sold and the junk that was sent to replace it.
 

Ed ke6bnl

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#2
don't now the rules but that is a large investment and these dealers need to put there best foot forward or loose there business, one problem is there are those that could use this to harm a decent good company and there is always some disenchanted buyer for the best companies. You can see that in reviews on an item you may be familiar with. but the video and some good facts can save someone some good hard earned money.
 

JimDawson

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#3
If what you have to say is factual, then your comments are welcome here. Just keep it to the facts.
 

Coomba

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#4
I agree,but I have good proof and been patient hoping this would work out, but they will not even answer any of my e-mails anymore. This has been going on since last Dec. I would like to keep others from buying their product. I paid good cash, and I'm on a fixed income. If I get the go head I'll post the video of the second mill I received. I sent it to the company to show them they have no quality control.
 

JimDawson

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#5
Go ahead and post your video, if it violates the Forum rules we can always block it. Factual experiences with vendors both good and bad are always welcome.
 

Coomba

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#6
Ok great. Let me lay a little ground work. In Feb of 2015 I purchased a 12z mill, the steel stand and a chip pan from Charter Oak Automation. The first thing I noticed about the mill is that the slots cut for the t bolts on the table were cut in steps. I'm very new to machining so I posted a picture on this forum to ask for your thoughts.( Feb 5th New mill issue) Most said to send it back. But you have to understand my shop is on the second floor of my barn, and it has to lifted by a hand hoist then I need to rent a engine lift to get it on the stand. Also its a 50 mile trip to pick it up. So after contacting Charter Oak they agreed to send me a two axis DRO, WOW! It still has not arrived even after many calls. Skip forward now to March. The gear on the handle to raise and lower the head is now stripped. The mill is now non functioning. I contact Charter Oak Automation and the do agree to send out a second mill. I receive the mill lift it to my shop set it in place and when cleaning it up was just blown away. So I made a video to show them all the problems. Now I do admit that some are very minor, but as you will see this mill should never have left there warehouse. Absolutely zero quality control. Hope this video works,
I can't seem to figure out how to post this video from my computer to this post.
 

savarin

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#7
I feel your pain.
I replaced my old mig with a new three in one.
It went beautifully for 1 week then the mig stopped. (after half a 5kg roll was used)
They replaced it but the exchange unit wouldnt go down to 0.6mm wire (the original did)
Countless calls to the company did nothing and after a couple of weeks the mig on this set stopped working.
From then on I was ignored.
The stick and tig work very well but it was the mig I really wanted.
This was an ebay item and obviously cheap.
Be warned.
I still dont have a mig set.
I found after the event that this company has a gigantic track record of this kind of behaviour and ebay allows them to remove all the negative feedback.
They also keep the dialog moving until the pay-pal period ends then nothing.
I now search for any company I use before buying for such details.
 

JimDawson

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#8
I can't seem to figure out how to post this video from my computer to this post.
First you have to upload the video to YouTube or other video host then you can link to it in this forum

Picture1.jpg
 

Coomba

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#9
I'm working on that now
 

coolidge

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#10
Savarin what brand welder? Just curious.
 

Coomba

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#12
Fellas I'm uploading a video to dailymotion now. Its gonna take about an hour. I did one but it was incomplete because they had not varied my email.
 

Coomba

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#13
Fellas I'm uploading a video to dailymotion now. Its gonna take about an hour. I did one but it was incomplete because they had not varied my email.
 

roadie33

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#14
That is shoddy Quality Control.
I wouldn't buy one of those mills if that's what they send. Twice.
I'd definitely want my money back and free shipping back to them.
 

chevydyl

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#15
The old adage goes, you get what you pay for lol, been there done that..... even buying something local for a couple hundreds bucks more than trying to save money buying online goes far for customer support, I purchased both my welders new from a local shop, one a thermal arc and the other a miller tig, both were cheaper than any online store
 

Coomba

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#16
Go ahead and post your video, if it violates the Forum rules we can always block it. Factual experiences with vendors both good and bad are always welcome.
What happened to my video? Was it not factual?
 

JimDawson

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#17
Your video was factual, no problem there. I'll PM you.
 

chevydyl

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#18
Yeah what happened, I wanna see it
 

Bill Gruby

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#20
Charter Oak Automation is located in New Haven Ct. They are in the middle of a move to a larger facility which may explain the lack of communications. They are not an importer, they manufacture the products.

http://charteroakautomation.com/

"Billy G"

Coomba-- You have a PM.
 
Last edited:

kvt

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#21
Ok, I have just been reading through some of this thread, and if his documented problems are valid, then the company should talk to him. If not then, that is bad on the company. I can see that the PMs are reviewing the video. I hope we can see it or at least more of what the problems seem to be.
 

jmanatee

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#22
I searched up your video,... All I can say is WOW. I would want my money back.
 

Bill Gruby

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#24
You can see the video now. We felt it would be OK till someone complains. You will find it in post #13.

"Billy G"
 

Bill C.

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#26
Ok great. Let me lay a little ground work. In Feb of 2015 I purchased a 12z mill, the steel stand and a chip pan from Charter Oak Automation. The first thing I noticed about the mill is that the slots cut for the t bolts on the table were cut in steps. I'm very new to machining so I posted a picture on this forum to ask for your thoughts.( Feb 5th New mill issue) Most said to send it back. But you have to understand my shop is on the second floor of my barn, and it has to lifted by a hand hoist then I need to rent a engine lift to get it on the stand. Also its a 50 mile trip to pick it up. So after contacting Charter Oak they agreed to send me a two axis DRO, WOW! It still has not arrived even after many calls. Skip forward now to March. The gear on the handle to raise and lower the head is now stripped. The mill is now non functioning. I contact Charter Oak Automation and the do agree to send out a second mill. I receive the mill lift it to my shop set it in place and when cleaning it up was just blown away. So I made a video to show them all the problems. Now I do admit that some are very minor, but as you will see this mill should never have left there warehouse. Absolutely zero quality control. Hope this video works,
I can't seem to figure out how to post this video from my computer to this post.
What kind of warranty came with it? You may need to contact your state's consumer protection department if they can't get this problem fixed. I hate it when something like this happens.
 

brav65

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#27
Bummer about your mill. Bill Miller has one and it looked like a great Mill. He got greate service from Paul as well. Let's hope they reach out to you to resolve the issue. I would think a replacement mill is in order.
 

wrmiller

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#28
Bummer about your mill. Bill Miller has one and it looked like a great Mill. He got greate service from Paul as well. Let's hope they reach out to you to resolve the issue. I would think a replacement mill is in order.
I wouldn't call it a "great mill", but rather 'pretty good', as it does everything I ask of it and then some. Mine too came with loose screws, miss-alignments, and whatnot, but I expected as much so didn't complain about that and just fixed everything. You get what you pay for, especially coming from China, and I knew going in that I didn't buy some top-of-the-line machine. :)

I went through everything, and I mean everything on mine, as I am not naive enough to think that this thing would be ready to run out of the box. I pulled all of the screw supports/end caps for inspection and cleanup as miss-alignment on these components can easily cause binding. I pulled all of the gibbs and cleaned thoroughly then de-burred and stoned them. Then I oiled all the ways and set the gibbs. I did this before even attempting to move the table. Afterwards, I noticed some binding on the Y-axis in one direction only. Turned out the bronze nut was loose and there was some damage to it. Got a new screw and nut from Paul and fixed that. That was the biggest issue I have had with the mill so far and I've been beating on this thing since early this year.

Now...having said all of that, I don't have any voids that are visible to me (I think I saw one on the underside of the saddle when I had everything apart building the one-shot oiling system), and that would have been a deal breaker for me. Same for the noise in the headstock/gearbox, as that too would have been a Big No-No and would have had to go back. Coolidge here had to get a second machine as his first one was having issues. I consider myself lucky in this regard.

It has been a while, but every time I had a question or needed something, Paul always helped me out. Now sometimes he didn't respond to my emails right away (some responses took a week or more), but he always got back to me. I would expect him to do the same for all of his customers.
 

coolidge

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#29
Some of this stuff looks minor to me and things I would take care of as part of new machine clean up, inspection, and setup.

1. Loose screws, smashed way cover, casting voids - okay annoying so be annoyed then have CO send out a new way cover and tighten the screws. Yes the casting voids are cosmetic warts, they diminish the hey look at my shiny new machine experience but they are only cosmetic. If the machine checks out in the really important areas I wouldn't go through the trouble of sending the machine back just for a cosmetic flaw. I also have a few voids down in the bottom of my T slots, my opinion was okay that's CHINA in this price range. The void on the front of the saddle, yeah pretty annoying but again not worth returning the machine imo.

2. Y axis stiff to turn - First was the Y axis cleaned, oiled, and adjusted properly? Ways, saddle, gib, ACME screw, brass nut? This is part of the new machine setup and if done the ACME screw or nut would have to be defective for it to be stiff. Also I would make sure the Y axis gib locks which hide under the table did not jam/bend when the table was cranked forward, don't ask me how I know this can happen (face palm).

3. X axis clicking, that's pretty weird. I'd make sure it wasn't the crank handle. I have had that entire assembly apart, there's not much there its pretty simple. Some precision ground spacers and a couple flat thrust bearings. After cleaning and adjusting the brass nut for zero backlash I'd check to see if there was any backlash in the crank handle.

Side note on X, Y axis ease of cranking. This may be an area where CO is damned if they do or damned if they don't. If they leave adjusted loose and easy to crank people complain of backlash. If they adjust them snug to reduce backlash when they thing is packed full of sticky shipping grease they may not crank easy. Just saying.

4. Shifting into gear difficult - as a new machinist he may not know that you have to turn the spindle a bit to engage the gears when changing gears and let the lever find its spot. Those levers are not precise with the front panel, put in gear properly the lever may not line up exactly with the marks painted on the front panel. It sounds like its not centered on the gear and rubbing on another gear. If you can engage the gear properly and there's no rubbing/clicking on another gear, but the lever isn't exactly centered on the front panel indicator then no big deal. If it continues to grind on another gear with the lever wobbling then okay, something is wrong there and I might be looking to return the mill. As for the shift lever rubbing on the front panel mine does that to, that's not exactly a precision fit. Clearly they could machine some off the back of the lever or use a thinner front panel to create more clearance but its another cosmetic issue. Design you're own thinner front panel with FrontPanelExpress software and pimp that mill out!!

5. Electrical - This is one of my zero tolerance areas, the electrical should be 100% perfect out of the crate. High quality cord locks of the proper size cost like $2 for crying out loud. And use some good quality rubber flex cord. And make sure all the terminal nuts are tight and crimps are solid. Its not just CO I have had to go through quite a few machines electrical fixing and tightening shoddy work.

Putting things into context - this mill is made in China and cost $2,350. Personally I have learned to lower my expectations of machines from China in this price range so nothing much surprises me. It still irritates me but I just plan to have to fix and adjust things and overlook some cosmetic flaws. There are a couple of important design differences, the CO 12z for example gives you the largest work cube in this price range at 12x26. Compare that to the similar priced Grizzly G0755 at 8 x 17. The Z axis saddle is also massive, longer engaging a lot more of the Z axis ways and the round contact area where the head engages the Z axis saddle is both much larger and thicker e.g. more rigid than on the Grizzly.

The most important areas to pay attention to on these benchtop mills of any brand, the real deal breakers for me are is the table flat and are the ways ground straight and true. These machines are notorious for crap ways with tight and loose spots.

If you think these kinds of things can't happen on more expensive machines...my brother and his company are going round and round with Mori Sieki on a brand new $200,000 CNC lathe, the Y axis is rusting and pitting badly.
 

george wilson

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#30
For whatever it's worth,I had a 1960's Heald USA made horizontal mill in the toolmaker's shop. It had a void or 2 on top of the dovetail on thre knew that had lead pounded into the void. A little smaller than a dime. I was surprised to see it on an older American machine.

The Millwork shop got a $30,000.00 Northfield thickness planer,made in Washington State. It had voids in the table filled with epoxy.

I'd be most concerned with noise and vibrating lever in the gear head. Having to replace bad bearings is going to be a major pain. And,the noisy bearing might affect the finish that the machine can deliver when cutting metal.

I expect the clicking when backing out the X axis handle is a thrust bearing that needs adjustment. The tight cross slide may be a mis aligned leadscrew nut,which is a more serious problem. And BEWARE! I bought a nearly NEW Enco turret mill for a spare unit which had nuts threaded so SHALLOW,the leadscrew jumped the threads in the nuts!! I sear,the nuts were only threaded about .015" deep. And,I am a professional machinist,now retired. I got rid of it.

Fortunately, I bought my other machines back when they were made in Taiwan. But,today,even Taiwan uses some parts and castings made in China. But,quality control,while still not perfect,is better. And,Taiwan made machines cost more than Chinese.
 
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