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Phase II QCTP. Not what I expected.

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7milesup

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Hi guys. I have a PM1022 lathe with the "standard" chinese QCTP. I felt it had a lot of slop in the mechanism, including the round part that the handle attaches to. My brother has an older Jet lathe (40"?) with a Phase II QCTP on it. It is nice and tight with basically no slop. The Phase II that I got is absolutely no better than the craptastic Chinese one that came on the lathe from PM. The only thing that would be better about the Phase II is the center mounting bolt is much more substantial than the mounting system on the originial, but I don't need to pay $225 just for a bigger mounting bolt. It was purchased through Amazon from Travers tool. Didn't really want to spend $300+ on just a QTCP but it looks like that is what one must do to get a decent QCTP.
 

ezduzit

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Very disappointed in the Phase II holder I bought.

 

7milesup

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Maybe their QC is going in the tank?
 

Nogoingback

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When I got my Phase II, it was kind of gritty feeling when I turned the handle. In the end I pulled it apart and found
almost no lubrication and grunge from manufacturing inside. After cleaning it up and lubing it, it worked fine.
Make sure the "nut" at the top is tight as well: mine was barely snug. I know you shouldn't need to do these
things after buying a new tool, but they might help you sort things out. Mine has been fine since I did them.
 
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Bob Korves

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Chinese stuff often has poor quality control (QC). Whatever comes off the machines goes into the box unless there are significant visual flaws. That is part of the reason it is cheaper than an Aloris. I also have a BXA Phase II tool post set, and it is mediocre -- not awful, not great. If I or you would have ordered a second one, it may have been just fine. Mine has worn in and I have adjusted and cleaned it and have become used to it over time, and it now works fine for me. My approach nowadays is to never pay extra for the so called "premium" inexpensive Chinese products. You are kidding yourself. However, some really high quality tooling is made in China, and it gets proper QC and QA. You also pay a lot more for that. Currently, I would buy the Bostar from CDCO, which is the cheapest one out there that I know of. Why pay more when you are rolling the dice?

Or, buy an Aloris...
 

Technical Ted

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The first one I bought was a Phase II. The second was one from AllIndustrialSupply. The later was much tighter and better feeling and from my experience I would suggest that one.

YMMV,
Ted
 

Bob Korves

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ROR! (raff out roud)
The Chinese send rockets to the moon. They do not make the hardware with cheap tool posts. Much of the manufacturing equipment used in USA and other 1st world countries is now made in China. It is not the same stuff that we hobby machinists are buying from Shars, CDCO, All Industrial, and many other suppliers. We seem to have reached a conundrum where we want ever cheaper stuff, and the importers and manufacturers are filling that need, yet we whine when we get the mediocre or worse products that are unavoidable when pricing is the all important consideration. The importer/exporter, the manufacturer, the retail seller, and us as buyers are all parts of this loop. We love the cheap stuff, but hate the poor quality of it. *TANSTAAFL. Markets respond when buyers no longer purchase their products, and feed the monster when they do. An example of really good products from China that hobbyists purchase is Glacern work holding products: https://www.glacern.com/ which are made from world wide sources -- including China.

*There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
 

Firstgear

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The only way to get really good tooling out of China is when a foreign company (US, Germany etc)provide the design and has QC boots on the ground to drive quality. The Chinese when left to be a totally Chinese company often has employees where they think “good enough”. That means it may or may not be 100% to specifications.

When we ***** about something that isn’t quite right, in their mind “it’s good enough”. Back 50 years ago we used to ***** about the Japanese quality...cars, toys, etc. it was good enough then. China hasn’t gone through the make it right the first time change in mentality. Boots on the ground is the only way to get it.
 

COMachinist

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I have found it depends where you buy it counterfeiting is not a crime over there. China’s industry are owned by the Commie gov. So they are all phase II no mater who makes them. Most of the factorys are owned by the Army and the stuff from them is junk. The ones that work with the supplyer/resellers tend to be better quality. The BXA I got from PM with my PM-12x36t was junk, it now has my Alais BXA. Untill you have a really top quality QCTP you will always have problems with registration, finish quality and repeatable tool changes. I know there are some China QCTP that do a passable job, but for the most part they don’t. Least ways the the 4 I have in the junk pile don’t, by buying top quality I only cry once.
Good luck
CH
 
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mikey

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I only have Aloris and Dorian tool posts and have used them extensively and find no major issues with them. They are expensive but they require no mods or cleaning or anything to make them work as they should. My Aloris is a current model but the Dorian is an older one, made in the day when Dorian cared about quality control. @ddickey can tell you a different story, though. Seems like Dorian is letting things slide recently.

I only jumped in here to express the opinion that tool posts are like milling vices. Both are foundational tools that make a difference in how the machine performs. Hobby guys like cheap and given how much machine tools cost, I can't fault anyone for that. However, some tools need to perform well and typically the cheap versions do not do that as well as we would like. On a lathe, I think your lathe chucks, drill chuck and tool post should be the best quality you can find. On the mill, you need a good milling vise, drill chuck and collet tool holder. These are foundational tools that impact on all the work these machines do.

Going cheap seems to be the norm in the hobby machining world but for some tools, maybe not the best idea.
 

Dan_S

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The import AXA QCTP i purchased from Lathemaster (no longer in business) has always worked really well.

Imo, the only thing on a qctp that really maters is the dimensioning, surface finish, and hardness of the dovetails.
 

DAT510

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For what it's worth, there was a recent post on H-M of a member disassembling their new QCTP and cleaning it thoroughly, with very positive results after.
 

COMachinist

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Well, I can’t tell if it is the photo or if the holder is actually that far out. You should check it with a 1/2 hss blank? That would give a reference to judge by. I saw a er collet nut photo here, and it looked like the nut was bored way off center when actually is was just the angle of the photo. You can fix thatwitha carbide end mill chucked in the lathe then mount the tool holder on the QCTP and mill it square, by raising and lowering the holder. If you have a mill then you can mill it out square. The tool holders can go out to 5/8 without compromising the holder
CH
 

Larry42

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Sorry for the poor photo. Look at how cockeyed the machined tool slot is.
The only part of the tool slot that matters is the bottom & maybe to a lesser extent the back. The top of the slot has no function in positioning the tool. I don't buy tools for their "beauty." Though a well made tool does have a definite aesthetic.
 

Dabbler

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I have a bunch of AXA and several BXA toolholders, all from China. They are all of 'adequate' quality, more than sufficient for hobby use. I figure at the price, that I'll have 1 or 2 in 10 be defective, the 8 are about the price of a new Aloris, so I'm happy.

I'm going to buy some more BXA tool holders this week, 5 or 6, and expect to change the hold down set screws right away for European made metric cap screws (partly to make everything on my lathe 6mm allen head), and check for fit. So far everything I have fits very well. The tool holder could be made of anything with iron in it and will hold well for the depth of cut I typically use.
 

7milesup

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Thank you for the replies guys. I purchased the Phase II because of my experience on my brothers Jet lathe. I just felt that his was pretty decent, so for the money I was expecting better.
The one I got just has a lot of slop on the top where the handle attaches to it. I did take the jaws out to see if there were any adjustments that I was missing. All of the pieces that I got in this set were covered in a what appears to be a light weight machine oil. A LOT of it. The threaded piece that moves the wedges up and down had some light rusting on it despite the copious amount of oil. The rust was just surface rust but it was one of those "hmmm" moments.

It is not so much that the QCTP that came on the lathe or the Phase II won't do their job, but apparently I am picky and the slop in the QCTP is more of a irritant than a performance issue. I had the thought run through my mind "I wonder if anyone has built one of these in their shop".

Mikey... I certainly understand the value of quality tools. I have numerous Albrecht chucks and they are a joy to work with, and look at for that matter. I don't plan on keeping this lathe forever and that is why I chose a product underneath an Aloris for example. I hope to get a bigger lathe down the road, maybe a 1340 GT or an older American one if I could find a good one. Still trying to figure out why there is $4000 difference between the 1340GT and the 1440GT...

I will probably end up sending this Phase II back and just save my money. I am going to re-do the mounting system of the stock QCTP though in order to get more rigidity out of it. I have seen in flex under certain conditions.
 

Dabbler

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7miles, there are vendors of offshore stuff that try to keep their names as a good supplier intact. Grizzly and Sars seem to offer 'better quality' offshore stuff, or at least make an effort to replace/fix what isn't right... (so far in my experience)
 

MarkM

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I never understood the purchase of an import qctp. with the uncertainty of the quality and just how important it is. Rigidity, Rigidity, Rigidity, Isn t machining supposed to be precise? Why add in a factor of possible error. To me it s like putting a cheap set of tires on a nice car. I ll use my four post with shims until I Can afford quality that enables me to use the lathe to its potentioal that will be with the lathe to the end. It isn t just the quality but take a look at some of the options available from Dorian or Aloris for toolholding and such. Buying things online with no way to check the product is no good for me with the imports. It s a compromise. Why purchase something that won t enable the machine to work to it s full potential. How long did it take for you to decide what lathe to buy? and your going to put an inferior toolpost on that decision you made. It s a hard battle financially for quality. It s long term so do it right. Just my opinion and we have all our own reasons why. I want to purchase things once. I ll suffer until I can afford it!
Hey Bob, my Glacern Vise is from Taiwan and ground in the states. High quality for sure!
 
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ddickey

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I hope to get a bigger lathe down the road, maybe a 1340 GT or an older American one if I could find a good one. Still trying to figure out why there is $4000 difference between the 1340GT and the 1440GT...
I had that same question some time ago.
 

Tozguy

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I have a PM1022 lathe with the "standard" chinese QCTP. I felt it had a lot of slop in the mechanism, including the round part that the handle attaches to
My piston BXA Phase II was purchased to replace a 4 way OEM tool post and I am very happy with it. It is just as rigid as the 4 way.
However I would not expect a Phase II of comparable size to be much better 'quality' than an OEM QCTP on a hobby lathe.
From what I gather 7miles, your Phase II is a wedge style AXA QCTP so maybe that makes a difference when comparing to piston style BXA.
 
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chips&more

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I only have Aloris and Dorian tool posts and have used them extensively and find no major issues with them. They are expensive but they require no mods or cleaning or anything to make them work as they should. My Aloris is a current model but the Dorian is an older one, made in the day when Dorian cared about quality control. @ddickey can tell you a different story, though. Seems like Dorian is letting things slide recently.

I only jumped in here to express the opinion that tool posts are like milling vices. Both are foundational tools that make a difference in how the machine performs. Hobby guys like cheap and given how much machine tools cost, I can't fault anyone for that. However, some tools need to perform well and typically the cheap versions do not do that as well as we would like. On a lathe, I think your lathe chucks, drill chuck and tool post should be the best quality you can find. On the mill, you need a good milling vise, drill chuck and collet tool holder. These are foundational tools that impact on all the work these machines do.

Going cheap seems to be the norm in the hobby machining world but for some tools, maybe not the best idea.
Mickey, you are right on! Junk is junk and will probably always be junk! The finesse of the operator is very important for quality workmanship. But the tools that person uses is also important for quality workmanship…Dave
 

7milesup

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I had that same question some time ago.
Hey! Thanks for that. Glad to see Matt come on here and answer your (and mine) question.
 
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7milesup

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I never understood the purchase of an import qctp. with the uncertainty of the quality and just how important it is. Rigidity, Rigidity, Rigidity, Isn t machining supposed to be precise? Why add in a factor of possible error. To me it s like putting a cheap set of tires on a nice car. I ll use my four post with shims until I Can afford quality that enables me to use the lathe to its potentioal that will be with the lathe to the end. It isn t just the quality but take a look at some of the options available from Dorian or Aloris for toolholding and such. Buying things online with no way to check the product is no good for me with the imports. It s a compromise. Why purchase something that won t enable the machine to work to it s full potential. How long did it take for you to decide what lathe to buy? and your going to put an inferior toolpost on that decision you made. It s a hard battle financially for quality. It s long term so do it right. Just my opinion and we have all our own reasons why. I want to purchase things once. I ll suffer until I can afford it!
Hey Bob, my Glacern Vise is from Taiwan and ground in the states. High quality for sure!
I understand you get what you pay for. As I mentioned in one of my first posts I purchased the Phase II because of my experience on a larger lathe. As mentioned by Tozguy though, I might be comparing apples to oranges because of the BXA vs AXA wedge toolposts. Mos of us hobbyist are trying to find a balance between cost, quality and keeping the other half happy. I certainly enjoy my PM833T mill, which wasn't cheap.

This hobby, which a am just getting into really, also shares shop space with my extensive woodworking hobby and radio control aircraft and helicopters. My radio control system for my RC stuff is Jeti, which is probably the most expensive system you can buy. My routers for woodworking (I think I have 4 or 5 of them) are all Bosch. No Black and Decker, Craptsman, Ryobi or other junk in my shop.
 

Janderso

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My South Bend 13 had a Phase II BXA. The first thing I did was to break it down, clean and oil. I also changed the screws out. I thought it was decent.
Recently I purchased a newer Clausing Colchester 15. I bought the 7 piece Aloris CXA kit.
Wow, what a beautiful combination.
I used the parting tool yesterday. I didn't know parting could be so simple, quiet, clean!!
Quality is everything but you have to justify the expense for what you are going to use it for.
For me, I just like owning the best. I deserve it. IMHO anyway :)
 

7milesup

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"For me, I just like owning the best. I deserve it. IMHO anyway :)"

Oh I agree with you there!!!
One day the wife said "what don't we budget 10% of respective incomes for discretionary spending on ourselves". I immediately jumped on that because I knew that she hadn't thought about it before she said it. At that time I made about 10 times what she did. LOL.
 

Dabbler

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I never understood the purchase of an import qctp. with the uncertainty of the quality and just how important it is. Rigidity, Rigidity, Rigidity, Isn t machining supposed to be precise?
MarkM, I agree in principle with your statements. I do strive for the best I can afford in all my machines,

--Most guys assume you use shims with a 4 way tool post. It is simply not a very rigid way to hold your tool at the right height. Most of my carbide tooling for my 4 way was milled and ground to be 5 tenths below the centre line of the lathe. All of the tool is in contact with the toolpost, etc. My very good friend has been using a 4 way exclusively for 40+ years this way,

So I get your comments on this. I am negotiating an upgrade to an Aloris BXA right now to replace my offshore BXA. That being said, with the depth of cuts I take, on the jobs I do, the offshore one has performed well. My tool holders are always offshore, because theyu work as well as Aloris ones - at least one ones I have, and I've compared them only to an Aloris AXA. I may soon get to compare a real Aloris BXA toolpost and holder to my offshore one.
 
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