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Phase II QCTP. Not what I expected.

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jbolt

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Back when I did the BXA tool holder testing I also compared a BXA Aloris to a Bostar and a no-name import (all three wedge types) and found the performance aspect to be negligible. Fit and finish wise the Aloris was far superior with much tighter manufacturing tolerances. My current QCTP on my PM-1440GT lathe is a Bostar CXA. I did however make a new center T-nut to remove some of the slop I felt was too excessive. I have considered upgrading but when I am able to remove and reset a tool within a few tenths it doesn't make sense for me to spend the money. It is my opinion, based on extensive testing, that most issues with repeatability and rigidity come from the compound rest on the hobby import lathes or not keeping the surfaces between the tool holder and the tool post clean.
 

projectnut

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Maybe the quality of Phase II products has slipped over the years, or maybe the tool post you got was defective. In either case I would contact the retailer and ask to return it. You can ask for a replacement or a refund.

I have 2 Phase II tool posts, an AXA for my 10" lathe and a BXA for my 13" lathe. I've had both of quite a number of years, and they are of acceptable quality. At work we used Aloris toll posts and holders exclusively . They were both sturdy and accurate, but they were extremely expensive. For the work I do my Phase II are just as sturdy and just as accurate, but cost about 25% of the Aloris products.

An Aloris "kit" which includes a BXA tool post and 4 tool holders costs between $925.00 and $1,200.00 depending on where you buy them. A Phase II BXA "kit" with a tool post and 5 tool holders costs about $300.00. Although I like the Aloris brand I can't see spending three to four times the money for negligible differences in performance.

As an FYI I do have several Aloris tool holders. They were purchased new from a company that specializes in buying out surplus equipment and shops either upgrading or going out of business. The tool holders fit my Phase II posts perfectly and perform well. I particularly like threading tool:


But at $130.00 per copy my Shars tool holders at $15.00 per copy work just fine.
 

7milesup

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I do plan on sending it back. No sense in paying for something that has no improvement over what I have.

Interesting threading holder. I have never seen one like that.
 

Splat

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I picked up Phase ii+ wedge type qctp about 4 or 5 years ago. I actually drove up to their offices and met everyone. The lady owner was very nice. I met the guy who oversees QC. He said he goes to China very often to ensure standards are being held. I am very happy with my qctp, vise, and couple of other things I bought that day from them. Even got a nice discount. I did open and clean everything I bought but since that I've had zero issues. I hope their QC isn't going the way of many other companies these days. 7milesup, you gonna return yours or just bite the bullet?
 

7milesup

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Thank you for the info Splat. I am going to be sending mine back.
 

wrmiller

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When I bought my 1340GT I already had monies set aside for a Dorian BXA, a few Aloris holders, and a PBA 8" setrite chuck. I didn't want to put lower quality stuff on a nice Taiwan lathe as that kinda defeats the purpose of buying this lathe. I also knew that I'd better spend the money now because later I wouldn't have it.

And it's later now. :)
 

7milesup

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I hear ya Bill. Until I get a better lathe I can't justify top end for this PM1022. Would like to upgrade to a 1236 or 1440 but I just got an 833T a while ago and upgrading my lathe now would not pass the finance department approval.
 

Splat

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Or you could consider a 40-position Multifix-type of tool post system, like from Create Tool in China. Their prices and shipping are very reasonable. I love mine and wouldn't want to go back to a "regular" qctp.
 

7milesup

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Or you could consider a 40-position Multifix-type of tool post system, like from Create Tool in China. Their prices and shipping are very reasonable. I love mine and wouldn't want to go back to a "regular" qctp.
I have seriously thought about that Splat. The only drawback I can see is lack of "quick" availability on the tool holders, although that probably would not be an issue. I am watching a couple videos on it right now ... ;)
 

MarkM

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Good day all! Thought I d come back here to get flamed!!! I just bought a Bostar Bxa 5 pc Wedge set.
For 139$ on sale( til the the 30th at CDCO) thought is was a deal.
I use alot of Hss and every tool has a custom block and then I may add some rake and I make enough stuff to make stuff and shim blocks I could do not having to make.
Having the thread adjustment just makes sense for 139$ wether it repeats or not. Don t really feel I ll gain anything as far as rigidity goes and still would like a Dorian one day but for 1200-1500$ in Canuck money is way out of reach for now. I ll post up unpacking and general review. Have an idea what I m getting . It s progress!
Let the flaming begin!
 

7milesup

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No flame from me that is for sure. Like to hear what you think of it. I will say after cleaning my AXA holder up that came with the lathe, PM's is just as good as the Phase II.
I will say that Travers Tool took it back with no complaints so their CS was very good.
 

mikey

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Don't see how anyone could justify flaming you for this, Mark. I don't know this for sure but I would guess Chinese tool posts outnumber Aloris and Dorian tool posts on the typical hobby lathe by a pretty wide margin.

And just to be clear, repeatability on an Aloris or Dorian tool post (I own both) is mostly a myth. Every single time you put the tool holder on the post the tool height can be slightly off. I am sure of this because I check tool height each and every time. It is close enough to use but it won't be dead on center without messing with it a bit. So use your post and enjoy the convenience.
 

Larry42

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For my business I always bought high quality tools. They paid for themselves in reliable performance. For my hobby now that I'm retired I've bought used and Chinese. Even at their low prices they will never pay for themselves! I totally agree with Bob Korves in his assessment of Chinese tools. In order for me to have the equipment and tooling to do the things a hobby guy would like to it takes a lot of "stuff." I'm not a tool snob and an Aloris QCTP & holders won't make me a better machinist. It would be nice to have but right now I'd like to get an 8" rotary table with all the goodies. The Taiwan/Chinese set will cost less than an Aloris QCTP set. The QCTP that came on my PM1440HD plus the Shars holders I've added are better than my machining skills. So which would you choose? An acceptable 8" HV rotary table, dividing plates, nice tailstock, 7.6" decent 3 jaw or replacing my QCTP with an Aloris??? I realize my choice is putting me in a lower standing than some on this forum. That's OK, you can delete my comments.
 

bfd

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I am happy with my Chinese tools why you ask? because I treat all Chinese tools as kits that need to be tuned to work correctly. my lathe from enco needed to be completely rewired and has worked perfectly since. I can afford these kits or go without. for me that's an easy choice bill
 

mikey

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... I realize my choice is putting me in a lower standing than some on this forum. That's OK, you can delete my comments.
The tools you choose should in no way reflect on you or your standing on this forum. That is partly why HM got it's start. You do not need to defend your choices ever, Larry. Or Mark, for that matter. We all have our own philosophy regarding the tooling we choose, and we definitely have our own budgets.

For my part, I respect you for who you are, not what you own.
 

darkzero

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Or you could consider a 40-position Multifix-type of tool post system, like from Create Tool in China. Their prices and shipping are very reasonable. I love mine and wouldn't want to go back to a "regular" qctp.
When I was shopping for a tool post I really wanted a Multi-Fix but I couldn't find an original since they were no longer made and at the time I couldn't find any reviews on the import clones on how good they were. They were also still pretty expensive & more importantly the tool holders were pretty expensive for the clones, not a lot of vendors carried them, & there weren't as many holder styles available like for the Aloris style QCTP.

The lathe I originally ordered was going to include a Multi-Fix clone but I changed my mind & purchased a bigger lathe. I searched for a DTM QCTP, I had one on my mini-lathe & it was very nice. Couldn't find a DTM in the size I needed so I went with the Dorian SQCTP, couldn't be happier but sometimes I do still wish I would have found a Multi-Fix or DTM.
 

darkzero

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I realize my choice is putting me in a lower standing than some on this forum.
Nope, not at all, everything is welcome here. Sure there may be individuals who look down on China tooling & small hobby machines but so be it. If anyone does scruitinize you for buying inexpensive tooling, ignore them, those types of comments are not welcome here anyway.

I don't mind China tooling & machines. Sure some of it can be poor quality and/or need work to be useable but I look at it this way. If it weren't for the inexpensive/affordable stuff coming out of China, many people would not be able to have machining equipment in their home garages. Having small hobby machines & inexpensive tooling is better than having none at all.

I sure wouldn't have been able to get into this hobby if it weren't for China stuff. Sure I have splurged & bought quality stuff over the years but I do own a fair share of cheap stuff also & I'm fine with that, I don't care what anyone thinks or says about what I have. If I'm happy that's all that matters. :big grin:
 

mikey

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If it weren't for the inexpensive/affordable stuff coming out of China, many people would not be able to have machining equipment in their home garages. Having small hobby machines & inexpensive tooling is better than having none at all.
'Dis is true! Affordable machines and tooling makes it possible to engage in this hobby for many of us. It still ain't cheap but its doable and that's what counts.
 

wrmiller

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Don't see how anyone could justify flaming you for this, Mark. I don't know this for sure but I would guess Chinese tool posts outnumber Aloris and Dorian tool posts on the typical hobby lathe by a pretty wide margin.

And just to be clear, repeatability on an Aloris or Dorian tool post (I own both) is mostly a myth. Every single time you put the tool holder on the post the tool height can be slightly off. I am sure of this because I check tool height each and every time. It is close enough to use but it won't be dead on center without messing with it a bit. So use your post and enjoy the convenience.
The flip side of that is my parting tool that I cannot remember the last time I adjusted it. After parting off something I even check it by running it all the way in to see if it leaves a nub and needs adjusting. It hasn't (needed adjusting) yet. Maybe some tool holders just register better than others? I'm using one of my PM holders for that cutoff tool. I own a few Aloris holders, but they don't really seem to do any better job of holding cutters than the imports I have do. ;)
 

mikey

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The flip side of that is my parting tool that I cannot remember the last time I adjusted it. After parting off something I even check it by running it all the way in to see if it leaves a nub and needs adjusting. It hasn't (needed adjusting) yet. Maybe some tool holders just register better than others? I'm using one of my PM holders for that cutoff tool. I own a few Aloris holders, but they don't really seem to do any better job of holding cutters than the imports I have do. ;)
Aahh, but you have the magic PM holder, Bill, and that makes a difference.

Half my tool holders are Aloris, the other half are Phase II. All of them can sometimes register fine, sometimes not fine. I check center height every single time with a center height gauge made to fit my specific lathe and I am convinced that Aloris and Dorian tool posts and tool holders of any kind do not always seat at their preset height. They fit good enough to work; just not good enough for me so I have to fuss with it until it is.
 

ezduzit

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...They fit good enough to work; just not good enough for me so I have to fuss with it until it is.
Then you should find out why and correct the deficiency. Mine seat the same every time. But they are Aloris and Dorian.
 

mikey

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What would you suggest? Everything is clean, everything deburred so it isn't like I haven't looked. My posts are Aloris and Dorian, too.
 

ezduzit

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If you are determined you will find and correct the fault.
 

MarkM

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Sometimes on the forum I forget and type as I am talking to a buddy. I am not a tool snob and my statement much earlier regarding why put an import qctp was a bit blunt shall I say. Re read and thought what a d---!
We all know just how expensive machining can be to get setup. It never ends.
I thought I would just suffer with the four way t. Post until funds allow but like stated I d rather have other stuff for the shop but man I used to work with a Dorian and not just the post but the holders changed the machine it went on. Really made a differece I thought and feel it s worth it.
Another thing is I think Import stuff can b quite good. I would just like to see it and ordering online turns me off the imports.
The Bostar had decent reviews and if it needs a tuneup it will still be progress for me.
After making another five boring bars all different sizes the light went off and thought why make all these blocks when one day I won t be using them and it can be a bit frustrating with hss as most my tools end up with rake and centre height changes with parallel holders.
I thought I deserved a bit of a hard time !
 

RJSakowski

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I can appreciate that someone using their tools and equipment for their livelihood would want to have high end products. but for my situation, it doesn't fly.

When I bought my Grizzly 602, I also bought one of their QCTP. It is coming on five years now, and I have no complaints concerning its performance. The only problem that I have had with it has been the plastic knob on the locking lever and I replaced that with a bronze knob. Doing it over, I would probably opt for the wedge type rather than the piston but in truth, for most work, alignment is repeatable. I usually re-orient the tool post to optimize cutting geometry which requires re-referencing the tool and vertical alignment is usually good to a thousandth or two.

My total investment with eight extra tool holders is lwess than $300. If I had bought the Aloris or Dorian tool post with the additional tool holders, they would have exceeded the cost of the lathe. As a hobbyist, I try to get the most value out of my tooling budget which in my book means acquiring tools and equipment which enable me to do the kind of work that I want to. Spending an extra $1,000 on a tool post means that something else doesn't get purchased.
 

Larry42

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I have spent hours looking @ 8" rotary tables and their accessories, reading reviews, adding up the costs of the complete set + Frt. I have more faith in Taiwanese tools than those from China. Somehow I expect the Chinese tools to have greater variability even within brands. Looking closely at the photos I can see that many of the brands are the same product, or is it that they just use whatever photo happens to be handy?
It's not like I'm nearly destitute but rather what you might call kind-a-cheap. Every time I start a new project it seems there is something else I "need."
I've decided to bite the bullet and buy a Taiwanese set. I'll have no way of knowing if it is significantly better than the cheapest of the imports or not. I'm rationalizing it as "insurance." And since I've never used one I won't even be able to tell how good or bad it is, sort of.. I'll know if it is frustrating though. Much of what I do is mostly to prove to myself that I can.
 

Larry42

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I watched the video, BUT I don't seem to understand why the "slop" that he measured would matter. Seems like what matters is the movement of the tool holder when the wedges are tightened. My lathe/tool post is Chinese. I wiped the wedges & tool holder sort of clean. Mounted my dial indicator to a mag base mounted on the cross slide. Tightened the holder lever and measured the change. That would be the relationship of the tool to the cross slide, .0003". I repeated the process several times getting very nearly the same answer every time.
Then I tried loosening the tool post, pivoting and returning, tightening. I got about .0003 in the opposite direction. I attribute that to the fact that the "TEE" head of the post that goes into the cross slide is quite a bit thinner than the slot. Probably one of those universal fit things. I could make a new Tee bolt if that .0003" got to bothering me, BUT since it doesn't hardly vary from one tightening to another....
I've not had any problems with chatter or a nub when parting off or facing why worry about .0003" and just compensate for it if you can/need to.
 

Dabbler

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The physics of a toolpost in vibration are very complex, perhaps too complex to model. By removing much of the vertical play in the tightening screw, it is helping to remove sources of freedom of movement. It isn't clear that doing so will change anything, but I applaud him for finding it and fixing it.
 
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