Saturday, October 31, 2015

Even More German Heavy Metal

Oh yeah, 1981. I was in grade 10, and the Scorpions, a German heavy metal band, were one of my faves:


I remember seeing them live in concert in Vancouver around 1982. Despite their fearsome appearance, I lived to tell the tale. Not that it is a tale I tell especially often....

Anyway, nostalgia aside, I have finally gotten to meet a new German heavy metal friend, by the name of Zimmermann, FZ-5V to be more accurate. After it languished in customs for 10 days, a semi had gone to the Boston customs house to pick it up only to find the crate it came in was too tall to fit inside the trailer. That lead to a 4-day delay, the hiring of another trucking company, extra charges slapped on for storage, and then finally it made its way out to Western Mass. Then it sat at the tow truck/riggers yard for another 12 days as they were simply run off their feet with towing work.

Yesterday, they showed up with 'the monster' however:


After backing up into a suitable alignment with the doorway, and pushing the hydraulically-operated 'Jerrdan' deck of the truck all the way back to the door threshold, it was obvious that the the pallet was not going to fit through the opening:


Out came a sawzall with a very dull blade and the pallet trimming could begin:


While this was going on, I wriggled the secondary milling head off the pallet and onto a dolly:


This looks like such a little milling head when mounted on the machine, but it weighs close to 200 lbs. More than I want to lift by my own muscle power.

After a good 45 minutes of sweating and cursing by the riggers, and an extremely tight squeeze through the doorway, the machine was in the building:


I had been more worried about the height of the machine being a problem through the doorway, but the width of it turned out to be nearly the exact same dimension as the doorway, at 64". If the machine had been turned 90˚ on its base it would have gone through no problem, but the riggers double checked the measurements and were able to just get it through without recourse to spinning the pallet, which would have created other headaches. A sheet metal part on the machine did get a little damaged during the squeeze-though, but it will be easy to straighten out.

With the help of another two guys from the adjacent cabinet shop, the 5 of us pushed the machine down to the back of the shop and close to its eventual resting position:


I (and my landlord) had also been concerned about the building floor getting crushed by a machine twice as heavy as any other in the shop, but the old floor bore the weight no problem, albeit with some loud creaks and squeaks at various spots along the journey. I did take care to locate the machine position directly above a sleeper, in the interest of minimizing floor deflection.

At this point, given that the riggers charge $225/hour, I said "thank you very much!" and sent them on their way. The rigging cost me $800 altogether. I figured I could get the machine off the pallet by myself.

A while later I had used a handsaw to cut the middle portion of the pallet away, which enabled me to tuck the pallet jack in there:


The FZ-5V weighs around 5500lbs, which is in fact the very limit of the pallet jack. I've certainly never lifted something this heavy with the jack before. It did the job!

A while later, the rest of the pallet is gone and I'm onto blocks each side:


And then finally I got it onto the floor, with a couple of blocks on the front to level it out (yes, the floor in my building is that far out of level in that location):


I also rotated the milling head into the normal upright position. It was nice to find that the milling head can be moved forward and back, angled up and down, and turned clockwise or counter-clockwise using hand-cranked gear-driven mechanisms. No need to take the weight directly with my body, thank god. I loosened the central pivot (4 bolts), and found that the entire upper ram with milling head can be easily swiveled around.

Next Day:

The top beam needed to be swiveled around for the next step, which was mounting the secondary milling head. I rigged up a come-along to an overhead ceiling joist and winched the head up to position:


I have learned to trust bowlines with many tasks and have never been let down.

It took all of 10 minutes to get it into position and bolted up:


With that head bolted into place, the upper ram assembly had certainly become a fairly long affair.

I could now turn my attention to the other matters. After trying unsuccessfully to tighten the spindle locknut, I finally realized it needed to turn the opposite way and off it came (the doh! moment of the day):


The local machine shop guy came by to take a look at the German invader, and he was also thinking the collet nut went the other way to come off, so I am glad it wasn't just me. That collet nut is a big chunk of metal, with ball bearing smoothness built in. I thought the ISO 40 tool holders were fixed by a long 16mm bolt from above, but they are tightened from below by the collet nut just like a (giant) router.

I discovered one issue, and that is that the main spindle's quill is frozen in terms of z-axis travel. It should be able to work just like a drill press, but the quill assembly seems totally stuck. I suspect the locking mechanism inside is somehow not loosening when it should. I'm thinking I may have to disassemble the head to get to the bottom of it.

The high speed spindle, once power was put to the machine, worked great and I tested it out by mounting the chuck and drilling in some teak, a task I had been waiting to do until the machine was in place:


It made by far the cleanest and straightest hole I have ever produced in all my years around woodworking equipment of all kinds. In my building there are at least 5 drill presses scattered here and there, and not one of them can produce a concentric hole. Why woodworking drill presses are typically so poor, I have no idea.

I was happy to have at least that modest 'drill press' functionality, with so much more to come, as I gain familiarity with the machine and resolve remaining technical issues.

The DRO works just fine:


I'm hoping that the z-axis can be hooked up to the display and the machine at some point.

A look next at the electrical area, accessed from the rear of the machine through a heavy door. I guess you can tell the manufacturer gives a shit when they have painted the inside of the casting with gloss paint:


Some very old school fuses in there - I refer to those white knobs you see all over the door panel. Nothing too complicated, and no computers or sensors. That simplicity translates into fixability and should ensure a long lifespan for the machine.

The electrical hook up is temporary for the time being as I will need to drill a larger hole in the side of the machine to accept the porky 10-gauge electrical cable. The machine is wired with a neutral, which was a surprise. Hopefully it will run fine without having to provide a neutral on the supply side, which bonds to ground at the transformer in any case.

I had a minor issue with a loose wire as a result of squeezing the machine in through the doorway, but once rectified, everything seemed to work well. Curiously, while the spindles turned the correct direction, the powered z-axis and x-axis controls worked backwards in direction. Not sure at this point exactly why that is, but it will be easy to correct. One of the nice things about 3-phase motors is that they are happy running both forwards and reverse, and can be switched quickly.

I pulled the cover off the x-axis drive motor, and noted that the pulleys were marked '50 Hz':


The drive pulley seems to have a minor issue with the woodruff key:


I am guessing they marked both pulleys with '50 Hz' so they went in as a set without confusion, though to make an adjustment for 60 Hz, only one of the pulleys would have to be sized down 20% I would think.

All in all, the machine is massively built and oozes high quality, certainly on a par with Martin. I'm pleased to call it mine. Everything works except for the main spindle's frozen quill. At least I can use the high speed secondary head in the meantime, though it has a somewhat less convenient z-travel adjustment. I've still got some cleaning and inspection to do, and the machine needs oiling and greasing. The electric cables are a bit greasy and tatty and one of the electrical junction boxes could use replacement. The x-axis drive motor belts are also tired.

I'm hampered by having no operation manual or spare parts list, so I am very much fumbling around in the dark at present with some of the functions.

The machine came with what appeared to be a good assortment of tooling, however on closer inspection, there are some important parts missing from several of the tool holders. I'm in the process of identifying what I have and what is missing and will be ordering parts as I figure out my requirements and as I can afford them. I have a couple of collet tool holders, one is the ER 32 size and the other is larger and another type, perhaps 'OZ'. I'm not sure. All the collets I have are metric, so I think it will be a plan to also obtain some inch-scale ones as well. The shell mill tool holder needs a special wrench to mount and demount the cutters, and now that I have figured out its size I can order one from Germany.

Collets also appear in woodworking machines, notably routers, however it is a greatly simplified situation as compared to metal working equipment. There is a dizzying array of different types of tool attachment systems, tool tapers and collet types, and I'm in the early stages of getting my head around all that. It's been very educational so far.

That's it for this time - hope you'll pop back for another visit somewhere down the line. Until then, keep the tools and mind sharp.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Wadkin's Glen (4)

I purchased the Wadkin PP 450 Dimension saw from an outfit near London called Scott and Sargeant. After we had agreed on the price, they prepared the machine for export. I mentioned to them that I was looking for a saw which would be ready to put to work after I had it in my shop.  To this end, or so it seemed, they fitted a new brake cable, new bearings to the main spindle, and a new saw blade. I wasn't expecting such an apparently thorough job, so I had started to feel rather positively about the company, thinking they were going above and beyond.

Well, in the previous post I got the machine set up and running at my shop. I found the wooden table lips that Scott and Sargeant had fitted were rather poorly done, so I took them off and fabricated new ones. Then I found that the support legs for the extension table were significantly bent at their upper threads, which makes them orbit around in a circle at their lower ends, making fitting them flat to the floor at the correct height a bit of a problem. Then I found the table rule was broken and non-original. Then I found that the secondary lock arm for the fence was missing. Then I found that the alignment of the sliding table and main table was out of whack with the saw spindle and had to go to the length of removing one of the main table locating pins to effect correct alignment. Oh, and the sliding table is bowed about 1/32" up along its length, which is an issue both for precision of cutting and the table's linear bearing life. That bowing is a fault with the casting, and not a wear issue. I understand that castings can sometimes bow upward from hammer peens, but this does not describe this situation. I guess Wadkin sometimes had castings move later on.

I had asked early on, prior to negotiating price, if there were any broken, damaged or missing parts. The response from the seller was that they were not aware of any issues. It turned out that there were a few things that they could have mentioned, however due to the other fine work they appeared to be doing, I figured it was one of those things where the salesman I was dealing with was simply unaware of these items which were missing or damaged. I was giving them a pass as the issues were comparatively minor, and after all, this is an old saw.

After getting the machine set up, I used it for all of about 4 minutes on a bit of teak, part of the J. Koons project work. My shop neighbor Joe asked me how the saw was cutting and I gave him a quick demo by doing a cross cut in a piece of Jatoba. When I looked at the end grain, it was quite rough, which was a surprise given that the saw blade was new when installed and had seen but a few linear inches of teak. I had to conclude that the Atkinson walker saw blade wasn't the finest I had come across. I decided to replace it with a couple of 14" blades with Cermet II teeth from Carbide Processors. Those blades are custom made to order, so I will be getting my hands on them in another 3 weeks or so.

Then the Japanese carpentry classes started so I didn't get a chance to do much more with the machine. One thing though: I had noticed a low rumbling sound from the machine was getting progressively louder. At first I thought it was my imagination, however it was starting to intrude rather more into reality. With my attention shifting to the course work preparation, I kind of put my head in the sand, preferring to ignore that noise for the moment.

Then, several days into the course, in a conversation with a fellow from England who had flown over to take the classes, I learned that his father had rebuilt many woodworking machines and could apparently tell very quickly from a noise what sort of problem might be occurring. I joked with this fellow that maybe some of this could have rubbed off, or be a genetically-endowed talent, as I had some concerns about noise I was hearing out of the saw. I may have been joking, but shortly thereafter I brought him over to the saw to have a listen. I fired it up for a moment and then shut it off. He immediately thought it sounded bad too. Nothing like a second opinion to confirm one's suspicions.

I realized that the saw would have to be moved out of the way to make way for another machine coming into the shop within a few days, and realized that some further investigation was required in regards to the noise. I decided to pull the extension table off and then the main table could also be removed. Having three other people around to help with the lifting was most advantageous in this regard. While it wasn't strictly part of the class course work, it certainly was a typical sort of situation one might run into with woodworking machinery and everyone seemed quite interested to see what unfolded. So, I kept going, and it didn't take too long at all to get to the bottom of it.

With the table out of the way and the trunnion exposed to view, I turned the machine on again. It was quite obvious to all of us that the front spindle bearing was making a loud rumbling noise.

I had understood that the bearings had been changed by the seller, so it was not an issue I had been expecting to rear its ugly head. Twenty minutes later I had the spindle out. The rear bearing, marked Codex (a Slovenian bearing manufacturer) looked to have older grease in it and seemed to be missing two ball bearings:


It hadn't been noisy though. I was sure I hadn't knocked any of the bearings out during removal of the spindle, and others also said they hadn't seen or heard any bearings pop out. Weird. I've subsequently looked all over the area to see if I came across a bearing on the floor, but nothing.

The noisy one was the front, which came out looking like this:


This bearing is unmarked - the company who produced it not having the pride to put their name on it, which doesn't bode especially well. The biggest issue though is the grease - there's almost none. Just a cursory skim on the bearing was all that could be seen, and there were large empty voids of space within the unit. Normally one would pack a bearing thoroughly with bearing grease before installing it. This one had not been properly packed at all, and no wonder it started complaining after about 5 minute's of spindle rotation.

I also discovered, in removing the spindle, that the main pulley on the spindle end was chewed up and damaged at the portion upon which the brake shoe engages. Clearly, at some point, the brake shoe had been reduced to metal-on-metal contact and had severely worn the surface of the pulley. If they had changed out the bearings they surely would have noticed this.

----------

Whenever you deal with a company and enter into a transaction, there are two aspects: what the seller does before the sale, and what the seller does after the sale. Scott and Sargeant had seemed pretty good up to the point of sale. Here was an opportunity to see what sort of after sales service they might provide.

I now have the answer to that question: NONE

We're talking a couple of bearings, and I happen to now know that the correct SKF bearings for the saw (the ones specified by Wadkin) cost all of $32 (rear) or $39.00 (front). I'm a customer who happened to find that the front bearing was some cheapie and hadn't been properly packed with grease and was failing prematurely. It wouldn't be unreasonable for me to expect that a seller would opt to send me a couple of bearings. We're talking chump change here for a company like Scott and Sargeant to throw a replacement bearing my way.

No, that's not what happened. Rather than acknowledge in any way they might have had any role to play in a bearing which began to fail within 5 minutes of use, let alone send me a new bearing, they chose to ascribe all the problems to my end. I'm just a bad customer I guess. Here are some direct quotes from the conversations I had with Peter Charnaud at Scott and Sargeant:

...you are incorrect in your assertion that we have misled you in any way. You will get a low rumbling from these machines as they have large “deep groove” ball bearings which were designed and fitted for durability though somewhat noisier than modern smaller bearings will be.
As I said we had fitted a new set of bearings so if you are saying that we did not and that I have misled you then you will need to retract that assertion.
We did put grease in the bearings- as is evident in the photos you have sent.
The missing ball out of the double race bearing was probably ejected during your removal of it or your turning of it out of its outer shell.
I don’t intend to enter into any further correspondence as I believe I have covered your complaints and offered you a replacement of the possibly faulty bearings and you retract your incorrect assertion that the bearings were not replaced.

I guess the idea that the 'customer is always right' never made it to these guys. There was an offer on their part to possibly replace the bearings if I sent them back to them so they could be inspected by a specialist, which was jolly nice and all but I wanted to put the machine back into service and not wait weeks. Besides, given that they had put in cheap no-name bearings the first time, I was hardly finding my appetite whetted by the prospect of more of the same on possible offer.

I thought my description of what had gone on and the photos I supplied should have been sufficient to argue my case. It's hardly the case that I would pull the tables off and the spindle apart simply due to curiosity or paranoia.

So that was that. They won't even respond to my emails now so there's no point in further attempts at dialog. I was incredulous with how I had been treated, but at the end of the day there's not much I can do about it. I certainly won't be buying products from that company any more, and would encourage anyone thinking of buying a used machine in the UK to look elsewhere for a supplier.

Funny enough, at the time I had been getting the machine, I read with some interest some comments by various folks on a Canadian woodworking forum thread in regards to Scott and Sargeant:

Commenter M: I would not trust anything said by "scot and sargent" AKA Scot and scumbags!!
Commenter H: I have the same feelings as M. about S & S. They are right on my doorstep but I would rather deal with firms further up country.
They generally:
Don't know their own equipment
Don't have the stock
Charge like a rhino for mediocre quality
Have a shocking attitude to service and people who walk through the door
Commenter F: I think W. has summed up S & S perfectly , many woodworkers I know hate them, very poor service. For a example, A good friend of mine brought a brand new scm minimax saw bench from them ( yes I know mad, says he don't like old british machines because to much trouble) , anyway s & s delivered it , my friend unpacked it and had a electrician wirer it up, did not work so rang s & s but they did not want to know !!!, mean while the electrician traced the problem to a faulty switch on the machine, all s & s would do was send a new switch !!!, could not even be bothered to send out a engineer to fix a brand new machine !!. I say no more!!!

When I first came across these comments, I thought to myself, "well, that certainly hasn't been my experience so far".  I guess I needed to wait a little longer. I can now add myself to the chorus saying "no more!!!" I drilled out the rivets holding their company tag to the front of the saw and threw the plate into the trash. That felt satisfying.

Enough of that muck. The pulley is at a machine shop, along with the support legs, for some repair work. I'm still mulling over what to do about the bowed sliding table. In the meantime, I can at least deal with the bearings.

I picked up a couple of new SKF bearings from a supplier in Boston, then shortly thereafter came across a higher precision 'P5' (ABEC 5) version for 55% off on Ebay, so I snapped it up.

Here's that sweet new bearing:


Here's that same bearing, fully packed with grease:


FAG is a German bearing company, so it ought to be decent quality. I'm using a Lucas grease product intended for high speed bearings.

The bearing is a tight slip fit onto the spindle, and after it is seated the lock ring spins into place:


Then the lone slotted screw is tightened to secure the lock ring onto the thread:


The rear bearing, SKF 1306, seems to be only available in a basic configuration, with phenolic retainer:


It'll be fine. Older versions are available with a bronze retainer, however I read somewhere that the phenolic retainers are better.

The rear bearing was checked for fit onto the spindle. Again, a slip fit, however the last 1/16" was a little tight and required a drift to seat it:


I was just confirming it would go all the way on before trying to put the spindle into place and then finding myself having a struggle to fit it. Been there done that, more than once.

I popped the rear bearing off so I could then slide the spindle with front bearing attached into the trunnion:


Another view:


Before I went any further I retracted the spindle slightly and fitted the rear bearing's dust shield/spacer piece over the end of the spindle. Then the spindle could be reinserted and the rear bearing started:


Once the rear bearing was all the way in, the woodruff key could be put back:


From the other side of the casting, a look at the rear bearing spacer/shield seating in position:


Next step is to reattach the rear bearing's end cap:


And then the same procedure with the front bearing's end cap, held with socket cap screws:


It spins really nicely now, and I have confirmed that the grease injection system feeding each bearing is working properly. Should be good for the rest of my working life.

I am waiting on the return of the spindle pulley from the machine shop to complete the job. I've also decided to swap in some link belts for the drive belts, which, although new, are likely to be a slight contributor to vibration on the machine.

I have kind of a 'mad inventor' idea for fixing the bowed sliding table, however I'll save that for a later post. Need to get my head examined first. I hope, at least, you enjoyed the tour through the trunnion.

Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More about German Heavy Metal

After the first three-day class was completed, I found myself with a day off today, and that was a happy coincidence as the Zimmermann FZ-5V pattern milling machine, all the way from Northern Germany, via an extended delay in customs and various other hassles I'd rather not mention, is finally in town. It's at a location now about 15 minutes from my shop. This German monster is too heavy and bulky, at 5500 lbs, for me to move myself, with any degree of convenience and safety, so I have hired some riggers to move it for me.

The crate had many nails and interior framing elements, and stood some 94" tall. I was curious, to say the least, to see what was in the box, and confirm that this machine would actually go through the shop doors without requiring any disassembly.

One of the students in the class, Andy, offered to give me a hand to remove the crating, which was very kind. Here, after 20 minutes work, we've got the top off and one of the sides:


A while later:


The beast is revealed at last:


The 'foot' of the machine measures 24" x 45" approximately, for reference.

The main spindle is rotated 90˚ to the side for shipment, and the rear spindle assembly has been removed:


It is well fastened down to the pallet.

A view from the back:


That was exciting, and a little intimidating. It's a big machine.

Back at the shop, I unpacked the box of parts which came with the machine. Here we have a good selection of hook spanners, and a DRO linear scale:


I'm not sure why the scale was not attached to the machine, or whether it had ever been attached. It will all be revealed soon enough I guess.

A number of ISO 40 taper tool holders came with the machine. There is the large collet chuck:


I have 4 collets for that holder, all metric, so I'll be looking to expand that into some inch collet sizes as well. To the right of the pic you can see a boring bar spindle, which I think is missing some parts.

There's a very nice helical cutter in a shell mill holder, hardly used:


This chunk is the 90˚ angle accessory, and it is a heavy mofo:


I have no idea as of now how that even goes on the machine. I'm glad to have it though 'cause it could certainly come in handy somewhere down the line.

Included were two drilling chucks, one for the main spindle and one for the high speed spindle:


The chuck on the left is 5/8" capacity.

A couple of tool holders for fitting various shaped cutting discs:


Loads of hold-downs and bolts to attach parts to the main table:



An original brochure:


Here was an unexpected find - a fairly complete set of components to fasten stuff down to the work surface:


I had been thinking earlier on that at some point I would need to invest in a set like that for this machine, and was pleased to find that this would be at least one expense which need not be made.

I also obtained a special and unusual Mitutoyo Digimatic caliper with the machine, which I'll show in a later post.

I'm thinking that I might be the only one in North America with this model of Zimmermann, though if there are other owners out there, I'd be delighted to hear from them.

All for now. Class two, an intro to Japanese joinery, starts tomorrow and runs for three days, followed by a 1-day class. Then it looks like a blizzard of work might be coming my way. All for now - thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wadkin's Glen (3)

More time in on the Wadkin dimension saw today. It's become a second job.

I decided it was time to fit some wooden sacrificial lips to the table edges so as to make the machine useable. This feature - the table lips - is actually one of my favorite aspects to the saw. I haven't seen other saws of this type (say from Northfield, Oliver, Tannewitz...) that have the provision for replaceable table lips. In the world of modern sliding saws with aluminum tables, only Martin makes a machine with replaceable table lips.

The wooden lips allow for zero clearance cutting to be established (an advantage over any aluminum table sliding saw), and can be readily renewed when desired. The left side, the sliding table side, takes a single long strip of wood, while the right side, the main table, takes three pieces. One could fit a single insert to the right side, however having three separate pieces means that only the middle one needs to be replaced, as that is the one getting chewed up by different blades, blade tilts, and use of a dado head. I decided to stick with the three-piece system on the main table side as it made the most sense. It wasn't of course the quickest thing to throw on in there.

First I made the sliding table's lip, using some QS Honduran mahogany:


Another view - the lower exposed edge is beveled at 45˚:


A better view of the edge:


Then I fitted the two smaller right side lips, like bookends, leaving a job of fitting the middle lip as closely as I could for last - using the table saw for this task:


As you can see, I am reusing the chewed up BSW 1/4"-20 fasteners with slotted heads, however I am in the process of ordering some fresh replacements with Allen heads, so this is a temporary situation.

With the table lips all in place the blade could be raised up, cutting entirely the right side as the left side lip had already been trimmed by the saw edge earlier:


Peekaboo!:


At last I am able to cross-cut and not worry about the off-cut getting kicked by the blade and launched, and the wooden infill reduces the wind off of the blade by 95%:


I felt the table saw was cutting quite squarely, though a 5-cut test will be done later to get things really square.

Here's one of the table lip butt joints which came right off of the sliding saw:


 And the other turned out equally:


It's a promising start. I'm short one fastener, as you can see.

I also had a go at ripping, and that went well.

At this point, all is operational with the saw, including dust collection. I managed to get the play out of the sliding table by tightening some of the middle gib adjusters. That was a relief.

However, now that the wooden lips are in place I discovered something. The sliding table is slightly bowed up along its length. At first I thought maybe the rebates for the table lips were not cut totally flat, as there were height discrepancies where the table lips from each side met. The main table was checked with my 48" Starrett straightedge, and looked good for flatness. Not so with the sliding table.

Since the top of the sliding table is bowed up, that also means that the under side of the same table, where the linear rods are carried by the table casting, is also bowed up... which means the rods are captured in a holder which itself is not in a dead straight line, and this of course will make the sliding action less than optimal.

I can see that at some point the sliding table is going to have to come off and take a trip down to a machine shop which can grind and scrape the table top, rebate, and underside back to flatness and parallelism. And maybe the support member under the sliding table, a chunky and crudely-cast slab of cast iron, would be worth doing as well. Once those are back to good n' straight, I can set the sliding table up with some new bearings, and get it dialed in, then shim the main table as necessary to get it co-planar. Based on previous experiences with getting tables decked flat as machine shops, I can expect this might cost in the $750~1000 range.

For the time being though, I'm going to use the saw and it should work well enough. I think in time I can get it dialed in much more closely, but it will have to wait until some more involved rebuild can take place, probably until next year.

As for the Zimmermann milling machine, it has cleared customs and is now in Boston. I can't go and pick it up though because the machine seller forgot to send the Bills of Lading to me and those are needed before the machine can be released. I wasn't aware of this at all until today. The seller then decided to just pop the the Bills of Lading in the mail to me today, sans tracking number or anything like that. That means at least a week's wait for that mail, which means I will get charged storage by the port of Boston, and that will likely amount to a few hundred dollars by the time the machine can be released. All this will happen, due to nothing I had any part in, but I DO get to pay for the mistakes and omissions of people involved in the shipping and paperwork side of things. The seller could probably care less since he was paid for the machine already; ditto for the shipping company. I'm a little frustrated at this point and can do nothing but wait and gnash my teeth, shake my tiny fist, etc.. Hopefully the mail from Germany won't get lost on the way. Another case where I have a hassle with freight and am largely powerless to effect outcomes. Again and again the same bullshit - or new forms of bullshit. It seems to be a source of endless creativity. I've seen it all now. I've come to expect a screw up with shipping now and have developed a simple formula:

Freight = hassles + unexpected extra costs

All for today, thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way.