B&S Ultra Precision Angle Blocks quality?
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Providence, RI
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    36
    Likes (Received)
    70

    Default B&S Ultra Precision Angle Blocks quality?

    I bought a set of Brown & Sharpe angle setup blocks, B&S/Tesa #599-921-17, when they went on sale at MSC last April. These are supposedly USA made and spec'd to a tenth per inch or 30". Yes there are import knockoffs from China or India for 1/5 the price, I am not interested. The B&S set was on backorder 7 months, which was annoying, but finally showed up this week.

    I'm pretty disappointed.

    Except for the fact they are laser engraved "Brown & Sharpe Ultra Precision," they sure look like import junk. There is NO country of origin shown on any of the parts, case, or packaging. The box is cheap pine, not the mahogany shown in catalogs. There are abrasion marks and visible burrs on gaging faces, including several where the finish grind failed to run completely off the face into a corner relief, leaving a ridge (as if the wheel was rounded over). There is flash rust staining on many of the blocks. At least one, an auxiliary (zero degree) parallel, is out of whack by a thou in 2 inches. I put a mic on a few null combinations (say 5* + 10* - 15*) and they checked out, but can't check others without stoning/dressing them because of aforementioned burrs.

    I looked at the MSC listing and underneath "Country of Origin- USA" is the sentence "Country of origin is subject to change." I can't be sure if this fine print was shown when I bought the item. Certainly KBC and Travers don't have this disclaimer for the same set/part number (they also show what is clearly a mahogany case).

    I wonder if MSC sent me a counterfeit set, or if B&S/Tesa has now flipped manufacturing offshore, or if their USA shops have devolved to "global" QA standards. The sale was better than half off, so I suppose if they checked out on a sine bar I might clean up the burrs etc. and hold onto them; but I'm just not sure I should go to all the trouble.

    Advice or similar experience appreciated...

    Mike

  2. Likes camscan liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Country
    DENMARK
    Posts
    3,401
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4030
    Likes (Received)
    12610

    Default

    Anything new at less than half price sounds to good to be true and most of us know "If it sounds too good to be true ……"

    Can't you just return?

    B&S/Tesa or any other good brand name wouldn't want their name on rubbish no matter where it was made.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    272
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    86

    Default

    Very sorry to hear about your so-so B & S purchase. Sounds like something you should reject and send back.

    My B & S stories go like this. I bought my first set of vise parallels nearly 20 years ago and they were B & S "Ultra Precision." As you might expect, they were priced four or five times what the 2nd rate parallels were. As I was just starting out, I wanted to go for what I thought would be the best. I now own about 17 more sets of regular 6" parallels from what I think are Taiwan and lately China. My recollection of the B & S is not the best, but I do remember some disappointment in how they measured. I know that they are the worst set I own as far as being close to nominal. Not super important but... In short, I don't hold any special regard for them, even against the Asian imports.

    Also way back when I bought a used and pretty old B & S 0 - 6" depth mike in a leatherette case with lush padded felt lining. This is still my favorite of the many I own now. (Mostly Mitutoyo.) It's very nicely built. Small sized. Easy to get into places. Just one of those tools that feels great in the hands and works flawlessly. Never gives me feelings of uncertainty, which when measuring things means a lot.

    Finally, also many years ago, I bought a huge set of large B & S parallels at an auction for get this, $70.00 for the lot. I'm talking 4 pairs of 1 X 2 X 12", a pair of 1 1/4 X 2 1/2 X 12, another pair of similar size, and miscellaneous others. I can't tell you how nice they are and how dead on they all measure. The four same sized sets are all within a few tenths of each other, which has proven super handy in doing large setups including with heavy work pieces.

    My point in all this is just to say that back in the day, it seems that B & S made great stuff. Though it also seems the brand has faltered, The reasons for which I have no answer.

    Dave

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Country
    DENMARK
    Posts
    3,401
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4030
    Likes (Received)
    12610

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 13engines View Post
    My point in all this is just to say that back in the day, it seems that B & S made great stuff. Though it also seems the brand has faltered, The reasons for which I have no answer.

    Dave
    The name remains but many of the original manufacturers have been bought up.

    "Since 2001, the long metrology tradition of the Brown & Sharpe brand has been integrated under TESA Technology, the premier Swiss precision measuring instruments manufacturer. TESA is part of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, the world’s largest metrology product provider."

    There might be exceptions but the larger companies become the more it is about profit. I'm sure it is never the intention but more often than not quality suffers and more and more parts gets bought by outsourcing to find the lowest price.

    In principle there's nothing wrong with outsourcing as long as the sole purpose isn't to just find cheap. Many companies in many countries have become very good at specializing in making excellent quality within a specific field.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    27,281
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8507

    Default

    The B&S Metrology unit was bought by Sweden's Hexagon a long time ago, is under Tesa for almost 20 years, already:

    Brown & Sharpe | Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

    They have factories in China, just as Starrett has. MOST makers do. It is a large market in its own right, so they may as well export to what have become SMALLER markets - as the USA has.

    General solution has become Mitutoyo when "the good old" stuff cannot be found.
    Partly because OLD Farts (guilty) have scarfed it up and are hoarding more of it than we even need or use! Not as dumb as we act after all?

    Mitutoyo have factories all over the globe, too - but it seems the QC is more consistent.

    MSC? Would not surprise me in the least they are trafficing in "grey market" lower QC & blems meant for Africa, India, Middle East, Latam - not Europe or North America.

    This stuff doesn't get remelted - it goes out as markdowns, sometimes in serious volume and as routine.

    "Day job" seems like a hundred years ago did that with buying Seiko mechanical watches meant for less-affluent Asian markets. Seiko and proper dealers would NOT honour the warranty, even tried (and failed) with a lawsuit.

    BFD, Our company honoured the warranty, the ones we sold PLUS those "grey market" Seiko's sold by others. We had the margins. They just didn't fail that often anyway.

    MSC may be playing the same game? Send them back and see.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    10,116
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2628

    Default

    stuff gets rusty so not sure how long ultra precision lasts
    .
    most setup on surface grinder using metric and inch feeler or thickness gage shims and grind as needed. 0.03mm is .0012" so
    2ea .0012 is .0024" and if other end of part is .0010 and .0015 (.0025) you can shim part .0001".
    of course just using .0010" and .0015" to get within .0005" first is usually done
    .
    most shops have rolls Starrett thickness gage in 1/2" wide rolls and cut with scissors as needed. obviously everything needs to be clean.
    .
    of course you do not want magnetic chuck to distort a warped part flat. that is you shim so part indicates same when magnet on or not. that is if one corner has a .001" gap when sitting on magnetic vise you have to fill that gap so magnet does not warp it when turned on. hard to describe

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Providence, RI
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    36
    Likes (Received)
    70

    Default

    Well this was MSC, not eBay. They do keep high list markups but there's always some big discount, so I wasn't overly suspicious. I couldn't imagine a major supplier like that sourcing counterfeit product over a name brand, so I'm leaning toward thinking B&S is now pure BS.

    Yes, I'll probably send them back and try for an exchange, if not an explanation. Having waited 7 months it's a bummer but these are a convenience/efficiency item, not a necessity.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    Anything new at less than half price sounds to good to be true and most of us know "If it sounds too good to be true ……"

    Can't you just return?

    B&S/Tesa or any other good brand name wouldn't want their name on rubbish no matter where it was made.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    10,116
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2628

    Default

    big industrial supply companies when you order stuff it often goes unchecked from manufacturer to warehouse to customer. or only random sample is checked.
    .
    like anything manufacture might not check everything 100% too and just check samples. all manufactures worldwide are like that. its rare to see 100% inspection on everything.
    .
    i once ordered a pulley where bore was .005" undersize. obviously it wasnt checked when it was made with a simple GO/ NOGO plug gage

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,075
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3404
    Likes (Received)
    3599

    Default

    One tenth per inch.. and ebay blocks at .0002 are a mile out to a decent grinder hand.
    They are fine where they can be used and a bargain for the price. Good for a new grinder hand to practice squaring a part. Good for lay out blocks on +- and better .001 parts and the like.
    Pick two side and make those sides to no-travel to your tenths indicator, then gun blue those two sides so to have something near dead square.
    Often when you get to 50 millionths and less lapping may be safer than grinding. A blue-up with a grease pencil and then counting sparks can take a few millionths..often you can't dial 50 millionths and less. A plate of cast iron with some cross lines makes an Ok lapping plate...
    For $86 one would expect better Brown & Sharpe 599-750-10 1-2-3 Blocks Set: V Blocks: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    But they state.." and features squareness on all sides to .0001”

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    10,116
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2628

    Default

    i have seen alot of stuff just get rusty over time. just saying any thing made of steel or cast iron not going to last forever. gets a tarnish even just sitting on a shelf
    .
    granite squares and straight edges are usually used for long term stuff and tight tolerances

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Temecula, Ca
    Posts
    2,851
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1278
    Likes (Received)
    3683

    Default

    Hexagon and Intelligence do not belong in the same sentence. Sorry to hear they were such a disappointment. I hope you write a review. It's been my experience that MSC deletes negative reviews, so it would be interesting


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •