Turning Archive 2005

Vega 2400 lathe -- What a fantastic company! *LINK*

John Trant (Baltimore/DC area)
>This long post is a bit of a gloat (acquisition of a like-new lathe), a well deserved acknowledgment of a superlative company (Vega Enterprises), and a warning to those that shop on e-Bay for tools.

First, I want to warn you about a vendor on eBay called “hollytoolman”. Some of you may remember my premature gloat about acquiring a used Vega 2400 bowl lathe and then the subsequent post lamenting the problems that arose after I got it in the shop. As it turns out, hollytoolman buys old machines and then re-sells them after he has “refurbished” them. Unfortunately, the guy has no idea what he is doing and knows even less about lathes. The short version: I paid a lot of money for a newly-painted old lathe that was not functional. He says he will reimburse me only $100 (which I have not seen yet) even though it was not “as advertised”.

On a more positive note, I really wish to sing the praises of Randy and the whole team at Vega Enterprises. I shipped them the lathe so that it could be properly repaired. After a thorough examination, they gave me a long list of problems, essentially all of which were induced by ill-advised modifications by previous user(s) and hollytoolman. The abbreviated version of the story is that they are going to replace just about all of the guts of the lathe (upgrade, update, or repair the motor and mount, bearings, spindle, tailstock assembly, etc, etc) so that it is practically a new machine. Only the carcass remains from the original lathe. In spite of all the labor and materials (and shipping!) going into the lathe, I will have a near-new machine for less than the cost of a new machine. This was a pleasant surprise because this adventure could have been very, very expensive. This outcome was possible only because Vega is not charging me for labor and they are taking a hit on the new AC motor and VS controller. I voiced my concern to Randy about his negative cash flow but he was more concerned that I got a Vega lathe that he and I could be proud of. You got to love it!!

I am proud to say that I will soon have a great lathe from a great company in spite of the unscrupulous dealings of an eBay vendor. You can find out more about the Vega 2400 bowl lathe by reading Mark Kauder’s reviews.


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