Almost new machine day...will it be my last?
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  1. #1
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    Default Almost new machine day...will it be my last?

    Good afternoon All:
    I got a call out of the clear blue sky...a local toolmaker is retiring and is selling off his shop.
    He has an absolutely mint condition Jones and Shipman 540 surface grinder he is letting go of with a tear in his eye and a hole in his heart.
    This thing is BEAUTIFUL, fully automatic everything, not a mark on it anywhere, taken care of like a firstborn child.
    It's vintage 1970's and I believe he bought it new.

    I WANT THAT MACHINE! I REALLY want it!
    The price is very high for a used grinder...almost fifteen grand, but I have a boner for this machine and I know I'll never see another as nice in a century of looking.

    Problem is I already have a grinder and I need another like I need a hole in my head.
    So I'm contemplating selling the Kent.
    The Kent is a low end plate grinder...I bought it because it'll grind a 10" x 20 " plate, and I used to build a couple of molds a year.
    It's given me great service for a low end machine, and I've done some decent precision work on it, but it ain't no tenths grinder...not by a long shot, and it's clumsy as Hell for moldmaking, but I made it work and I was happy to have it.

    The J&S is only 6 x 18, so I'm losing significant capacity, but I'm pretending to myself that it is a much nicer machine to use for small fiddly things which seem to be mostly what I do now.

    So my question to you all...am I going to regret losing the capacity?
    Am I going to regret dropping a lot of money on just another grinder when I already have one long since paid for and still as good as when I bought it?
    Will it lose its "new car smell" pretty quickly or am I going to approach it with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart every time I have to grind something?

    Let me know, you Jones and Shipman aficionados...tell me what I want to hear...beguile me with fantasies of split tenths...help me make a dumb business decision.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

  2. #2
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    Marcus,

    I know jackshit about grinders, Jones and Shipman or any other. BUT, I've been reading this board for years and I've been in business. Business, when it's yours, is done not just for profit, but for fun and fulfillment. And I read all your posts with great interest, because you my friend take joy in the craft and joy in passing on the knowledge you have, which is considerable. Buy it and smile. That's what the money is for!

    Jeff

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  4. #3
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    Sometimes you have to do a thing just because you want to, you don't need any other reason.

    "Live every day like someone left the gate open"

    "Always buy the best tools you can afford"

  5. #4
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    TBH, it sounds a bit expensive unless it truly is in "ace" condition. But if the budget works and you want it, do it.

    I'd confirm that the ways are good by checking with a known-accurate granite or steel parallel laid on top of the table (ideally on two cross bars set to minimize bending loads) and sweep the top with a test indicator. If the readings are acceptable (nothing other than a linear deviation that can be ground from the magnet surface) then you have my permission to buy it.

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    Have you gone and talked to the fellow in person... if he is as you say he is there is a likely chance he will be pleased to have it go to you for its safe keeping.

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  8. #6
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    I think the price so way stupid even if baby new but it you want it,.......
    Sure a nice SG but....15K???

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    I wouldn't justify passing on it because of a small amount of work that only comes a couple times a year. I would send that little bit of work out to a sub and get the machine you will enjoy using more often. Whether that's this one up for sale now or a different one.

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  12. #8
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    For me it would be simple, buy the J&S and have both machines for a while, then decide, That gets you past the need for an immediate decision, past the buyer's remorse period, and gets you past the phenomenon where as soon as you sell a machine you need it, Even if you have to move the Kent into storage for a period of time to let the dust settle, It will be as sellable in a year as it is now, the J&S won't be buyable in a year.

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  14. #9
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    Not a grinder aficionado by any means... will you regret losing capacity? Certainly. Will it matter? Probably once in a while...

    That said, sometimes I just gotta have what I want (tools or not ).

  15. #10
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    You might not want to hurt your friends feelings but no one is going to pay him that much. You might be furthest ahead to wait until he realizes that.

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  17. #11
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    I only looked at this thread because I am in the market for a surface grinder. I don't know much about them, but as with any machine I believe you have to look at value for the amount spent.
    Take a look at Ebay.com, and Ebay.co.uk. There are quite a number of these machines available priced from $2500-$10k
    Ask yourself if the extra money is going to that much better of a machine. You could get yourself a larger capacity than you have in a respectable quality, and still take a nice vacation.
    I always wanted to drive a B-mer or an Audi, but my Mazda works just fine and was half the price.

    BUT....
    It's your money

    Pete


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