Monthly Archives: June 2013

What do I really have to complain about?

g0459_det1This is a picture of the surface sander that I use to finish sand the edges of all our seat and back slats, and to finish sand the faces of every part of every piece of furniture we build.  It is a fabulous time saving machine, and has been really nice to have.

A little over a month ago, i started having trouble with the conveyor belt slowing down and the motor getting hot.  I went to the manufacturers web site, looked up the machine, went to the parts section and ordered a new motor.  All was fine, right?  Not so much, it seems.  I get the motor a week later, by which time the old motor has totally died, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the wrong one.

I called tech support the following day and explain my dilemma, and the nice man on the other end of the phone explains to me that there have been 3 revisions to the conveyor on the machine since I bought mine 4 years ago, and that their on-line system does not reflect it, but, since i was on the phone, he had me take some voltage readings on the machine, and advised me that the control box was actually bad, and that they would send me a new one right out.  Of course it is no longer under warranty, so of course this will cost me even more money.  In the mean time, I returned the incorrect motor for a refund.  Mind you, I have now been totally without this machine for a week during our busiest time of year.

Yet another week and the control box arrives.  Excitedly I run out and install it on the machine.  To my dismay, it still does not work.  Another call to tech support, only to find out that “well, maybe the motor is bad after all.”  I order the “correct motor”, and am assured that it will ship that very day.

Three days later I receive confirmation that the motor shipped, but on the bright side, it was less expensive than the last one.  Another week goes by, and I finally receive the new motor.  I have now been without this machine for 3 1/2 weeks.  I am having to hand sand every single piece, my hands are permanently numb, I am behind schedule, customers are calling mad, and I want to send all kinds of hate mail to this company.  I just want the darn motor to arrive so i can get back to work and get caught up.

Sure enough, it arrived the beginning of this past week.  It was the same motor they sent me last time, but in addition to that, it included about $100 in extra parts, comprised of bearing blocks, a new spindle for the end of the conveyor belt, a new motor coupling and woodruff key.  Mind you, all of this was less than the motor cost by itself in the first place.  How does that work?.

So, not only do I not get a plug-and-play motor, now I have to rebuild the drive end of the conveyor belt.  Are you kidding me?!?  Finally, I am back up and running with this machine, busting my butt trying to not fall further behind, and working through dinner time every night of the week.  On the plus side, I am back up to schedule, and we managed to avoid any angry customers.

No matter what, this still beats punching a time clock.  My commute is a walk to the other side of the back yard, and I am home every day for lunch.  What do I really have to complain about?