Turning Archive 2004

Subject:
My Vicmarc VL-100 Update

David Wheeler
>I’m pleased to report that last week Greg Jensen delivered and setup my new replacement VL-100 from Vicmarc. However I needed the few days I had at the IWF to arrange my thoughts on this post. So here they are….

1. Greg was very professional and thorough. He arrived at my shop; took a quick look at the VL-100 he was replacing; quickly discerned that the bearings were shot and the spindle perhaps was bent.
2. He brought in a fully tested and setup VL-100 and graciously spent 2 hours with me turning and visiting.
3. The lathe is everything it is supposed to be. My research before and since still tells me that the VL-100 is probably the Cadillac of mini-lathes.

The WC group was helpful to me before my initial purchase; and throughout my whole experience with getting it replaced. Identifying with fair-minded and knowledgeable folks on related user groups is such an asset. To all of you, a “hugeacious” thank you.

I hate putting a “but” in here; but I don’t know what else to say. In my last conversation with Vic he was clear that he felt it was a mistake on my part in “going public” on WC. In all fairness to Vicmarc it is probably true that uniformed or malicious-minded “hot-heads” have misused such forums to ill effects. But the forums I participate in (MiniMax, Felder, WoodWeb, WC, Knots, and a few others) seem to be fairly well moderated with informed users. I really don’t see that much abuse; but I’m not on the unmoderated news groups.

In my case, I think the thread about my lathe was fair. I had NO interest in bashing Vicmarc or Terry; and I didn’t detect any bashing motives in the posts. In fact many acknowledged similar and other problems but still recommended the Vicmarc line. Owning and running businesses myself it sure seemed to me that Vic could have and should have used my situation for a positive spin on service and support.

Getting a quality product with the service and support accompanying it is the interest of the user. Savvy businessmen know the struggles that go on behind “closed doors” to get that accomplished, but it really doesn’t need to be made public. I was uncomfortable when my thread headed that direction. Regardless, I still think decorum dominated the discussion.

While I was at the IWF I met a fellow FOG (Felder owners group) member. I was telling him about my lathe experience. When I finished, he said, “Let me tell you about my experience with my lathe (Oneway)”. He has had it for a while and it was out of warranty. And recently it tripped off and would not run in the middle of a job. He called and they walked him through the fix. Turned out Oneway had placed a small trip unit in the lathe that wasn’t necessary and no longer designed in the lathe. During the conversation the user indicated that he wanted to purchase any items that could bring his job to a halt. Overnight they shipped him the items he wanted; plus a new switch, even though they fixed the old one; all at no charge. He was amazed. He was more than willing to pay for the support and any of the other stuff.

No more commentary is really needed. However I realize this is just one mans story and doesn’t speak for all of Oneway; any more than my experience speaks for all of Vicmarc. I only wish I could tell my story the way he did, though.

Again, thanks to all here for your help to me.
David Wheeler

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