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Busy Bee Tools Canada

Discussion in 'HARBOR FREIGHT, CENTRAL MACHINERY & BUSY BEE' started by tigercat4519, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. tigercat4519

    tigercat4519 Canada Iron Registered Member

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    Hi to all Canadians and any one else on here that may be considering buying from Busy Bee Tools. I purchased a lathe from them in September 2014 the CX701 and on start up the gearbox took out 2 gears and bent one shaft, they said no problem it was under warranty, so from there on in all I got was a runaround, finally I told them I had handed it over to the credit card people and by then I told them that I wanted a new lathe because why should I have to do my own repairs on a lathe that I just paid $3600.00 for, while this was going on the parts arrived but was told by the credit card people to not install them which I got nothing from another joke, Parts are sitting home still not installed.
    The Lathe is not something you want to wast your money on it viberates and the Apron gear box leaks oil enought that if I have to keep it I will have to take it apart and try to stop the oil, I have 25 years experience on Lathes and any thing Busy Bee sells you that is made in China forget warranty you are on your own they will not have someone come out and repair it for you or even come out and look at it and the store in Nova Scotia is only about 20 miles from my house.
    Just wanted to warn people not to wast your money on any thing Busy Bee sells and I'm not the first one that this has happened to, I'm in Florida for the winter and when I get home I'm hoping to see if I can take them to small claims court.

    Just wanted to ad here is the chinese company that makes these Lathes:
    http://www.weiss.com.cn/company/&FrontComContent_list01-1323238072385ContId=10&comContentId=10.html I talked to them when this happened and they are of no help because they said I didn't buy it directly from them, not much like the North America companies, Wish I would have purchased even a used North American Lathe.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  2. road

    road Active User Active Member

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    Hi
    Tigercat4519,
    I live close to the Toronto store for Busy Bee, a couple of years ago I called to inquire about parts for my Craftex b1979c lathe.

    I asked about buying a manual and a few parts. I had the parts #'s & stated I could pick them up to save the shipping.
    The person who answered the phone was almost rude, obviously not interested in my purchase. Giving one word replies to my inquiries.

    I will NEVER promote or support the company in any way. I have heard nothing but poor reviews about their products and services.

    I completely understand your frustrations with " Too Busy Bee to Care "
     
  3. johnnyc14

    johnnyc14 Active User Active Member

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    When I was shopping for a milling machine, I looked at the small knee mills on the Busy Bee Tools showroom floor in the Edmonton store. There were 2 sales guys working in the metal machine area. The first guy I talked to had absolutely no knowledge of machine tools and referred me to the second guy. He was disinterested in my questions and downright rude. The small knee mills they have are Taiwan made and look like pretty good quality but I couldn't make myself buy one based on the attitude of the people in the store. I called Matt at Quality Machine Tools and ordered a PM932PDF. He made the decision very easy by answering every question I had, arranging very reasonably priced shipping, and handling all the customs and duty paper work for me. Once the machine was shipped from Pittsburgh it arrived here in Edmonton in less than a week. I have had a couple of small warranty issues that Matt has taken care of with absolutely no hassles. It would be nice to be able to deal with a Canadian vendor just to support a local business but it takes good customer service and quality products to get my business and you can't get either at Busy Bee.

    I hope you are successful getting your money back from Busy Bee and thanks for posting your comments. Maybe it will save a few other Canadians the pain of dealing with this shoddy outfit.

    john
     
  4. Downwindtracker2

    Downwindtracker2 Canada Active User Active Member

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    Good luck on your lathe. It must be very disappointing to have bought a new lathe and have those problems.I have three BusyBee machines, none bought new, just really cheap.

    I stop by the store in New Westminster. It's just two bays in a row warehouse. In the mid-80s, they had a nice store in Burnaby and KMS had small single bay store in a run down strip mall. KMS, now, has large store and a chain across B.C. and Alberta.
     
  5. f350ca

    f350ca Canada Active User Active Member

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    I'll have to confirm their customer service attitude. I was passing through the city and stopped to get a dado head for the table saw. Was far from cheap, I was leery, but bought it anyway. It cuts nice but over width, the blades are too thick so a 1/4 wide groove comes out close to 5/16. I wrote a review on their website, of course it never was posted, I emailed them and much latter got a reply saying thanks, they'd check their manufacturing for future products. No offer of exchange.

    Greg
     
  6. johnnyc14

    johnnyc14 Active User Active Member

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    Wow, we have replies from coast to coast! Looks like it's the same situation right across the country.

    John
     
  7. tigercat4519

    tigercat4519 Canada Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks guys and to anyone else reading about my CX701 Lathe problem, hopefully we can get lots of people commeting on this, I put a review on there site on the Lathe but they didn't post it I expected that from someone that sells junk, I hope when I get home in April it's not to late to take them to small claims court and get my money back,in the meantime I will give them lots of free advertising.
    When this thing runs its course I will send them a link to this site and tell them there is always ways to get back at them through the internet.
    If anyone has any other input/ or good ideas please let me know.
    Thanks
    Phil
     
  8. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Sorry the hear about your problems. Please make sure that you keep things factual when commenting. Opinions are fine, but state it as such.

    I don't see any problems yet, just a gentle reminder for all.
     
  9. Bishop

    Bishop Canada Active User Active Member

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    I bought a small X2 clone from them and a bunch of accessories. When I had issues with the mill the store was of no help and like others have mentioned they were actually quite rude and indifferent. Now, If KMS tools doesn't have what I need I buy from reputable ebay dealers. Haven't had an issue yet that wasn't dealt with quickly and reasonably. Personally I would never order or recommend ordering from busy bee to anyone. There are far better options already mentioned above.

    Shawn
     
  10. Eddyde

    Eddyde Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I would go on every machine tool, trade & hobby forum I could find online and post warnings about that company. Also, do you have a department of consumer affairs or equivalent, in Canada?
     
  11. Nels

    Nels United States Founder Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    From what I understand, Busy Bee is owned by the brother of Grizzly Owner Shiraz Balolia. The production is similar to Grizzly, offshore, but less monitored. That was what I had heard, and this thread seems to support it.
     
    Al-Hala likes this.
  12. Downwindtracker2

    Downwindtracker2 Canada Active User Active Member

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    Nels, you are correct. One brother started in Bellingham, the other in Burnaby,(Vancouver). about an hour apart. Their wood working machinery generally gets OK reviews. They're a little cheaper than Grizzly on the small stuff, and until the CDN$ dropped, more expensive on the machinery. They handle more made-in-India Groz.
     
  13. gramps1951

    gramps1951 Canada Active User Active Member

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    I'll keep it short. For some small tooling items etc they aren't too bad but for machinery they SUCK!! You would be better off buying old used North American equipment and rebuild it.
     
    brino likes this.
  14. belongtotom

    belongtotom Canada Swarf Registered Member

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    Just a short note on the Busy Bee store in Calgary Ab which I see does not have a review as of yet .
    My dealings with them is as listed above , generally not good. But will have to say that dealings with Grizzly Tool to be a positive one
    One generally gets what one pays for "Buyer Beware"
     
  15. giddie1

    giddie1 Canada Swarf Registered Member

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    Hi all,
    I am sorry to hear all the probs related to Busy Bee tools but as a new CX704 owner I feel I must weigh in on this subject. I purchased this lathe at the Ottawa store as I live about 50 kms north of Montreal and we have no machine tool outlets that I have been able to find other than King Canada. I found the staff, while busy, to be quite helpful and polite in an unrushed kind of way.

    Now on to the machine itself. I have worked all my life as some form of mechanic/millwright and am quite used to the inherent quirks and problems of machine setup and installation. That being said I found the CX704, while quite a bit smaller than what I am used to, to be no different. Once it had been torn down and cleaned then reassembled and adjusted I have absolutely no complaints. After all it is a 729.00$ lathe. If used within it's capabilities it is a decent little machine. I love to tinker and for me this lathe holds a lot of promise.

    Thanks
     
  16. David S

    David S Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I think I will comment as well. Over the past few years I have ordered small tooling etc on line from Busy Bee. I have been satisfied with all the purchases. I did buy a double ended center / edge finder that I thought was not accurate. I emailed them and they sent a replacement no charge and didn't want the other on back.

    My friend recently bought a B2227L Lathe from them and he found the guy in the Ottawa store very knowledgeable and friendly. I have used his lathe and it appears decent with no problems so far. About a week after my friend bought the lathe I noticed that it was being offered on sale in the latest flyer. My friend called them and they gave him a store credit for the difference.

    Most recently he picked up one of their smaller bench top mills. When we got it home we couldn't get it to turn on. He told them, took it back and they gave him a new one. Turns out the first one may have been ok, and that perhaps we weren't operating the obtuse power on sequence correctly. I have only tried his mill once with a 12 mm cutter and it seems pretty rigid.

    David
     
  17. gramps1951

    gramps1951 Canada Active User Active Member

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    I too owned a B2227L lathe. The noisiest lathe I ever used and the repeatability was horrendous. I sold it and for less than I got for it I bought a South Bend 9A which makes the Craftex look exactly like what it it. A piece of Chinese scrap metal. My 60+ year old SB is a dream to operate and is quiet and accurate. I don't really care who sells them, the Chinese imports are junk, all of them. In my opinion of course for what it is worth.
     
  18. tigercat4519

    tigercat4519 Canada Iron Registered Member

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    Will you are welcome to try my CX701 if you are ever in Nova Scotia, you will find that this Lathe for $3600.00 is a terrible lathe and I have 25 years experience and have worked with a lot of good machinery over the years.
     
  19. tigercat4519

    tigercat4519 Canada Iron Registered Member

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    Thank you and that is 100 % true because I even contacted the Factory that made my Lathe in China and this is what they said: We can not help you because you didn't purchase the Lathe directly from us. Here in North America you would go back to the company that made the Lathe and I'm sure they would look after you.
     
  20. aliva

    aliva Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I was looking a buying a lathe from Busy Bee but , changed my mind and bought a King Industrial 12x36.
    In light of all theses issued I'm happy I went King
     
  21. Downwindtracker2

    Downwindtracker2 Canada Active User Active Member

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    Chinese quality varies from factory to factory. A few years back my son and I went together and bought a stripped down CQ6125 250mm x 550mm from KMS. It was deeply discounted close-out. On line I looked for the accessories, reviews, and who made it. It turned out a couple of factories were making the copy of an Austrian lathe. At least the Chinese were using metal gears. The XIMA version tested true, the SIEG version needed some fitting. BusyBee, and King both sell the SIEG version. You can see the difference across the showroom. We got the XIMA version but had to buy separately the steady rest,4jaw, fellow rest, faceplate, stand, and thread dial . Lathemaster sold a planetary geared pulley that cut the speed in half. Making it a useful lathe.
    When my son moved out, I suggested that I buy him out, "No ,Dad, I'll buy you out." Now, I have a Taiwanese BusyBee DF1224g with electrical problems and no accessories.
     
    Hidyn likes this.
  22. bmw rider

    bmw rider Canada Active User Active Member

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    I feel like I must be one of the lucky ones. I bought one of the first bunch of the CX701 lathes Busy Bee just after they introduced the line; mine was actually the first one sold out of Calgary and I had to wait for it to come in as all they had was the demo model in stock. I've done quite a lot of work on it and so far have had no problems with it. I can't say how the customer service is for repairs as I've not needed to go there. In fact, my lathe is now past warranty anyway. I do hope it continues to work for me without problems. I wonder if at some point they switched to a poorer supplier to build them.
     
  23. jaycan

    jaycan United States Iron Registered Member

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    Hi
    I have owned a B2227L with the mill attachment for 10 years. While it is not built to the weight and precision of a Southbend, it has been an adequate lathe and the only part I have had to replace is the Fwd-Off-Rev switch. You have to remember it is a gear head lathe which will be noisier than a belt drive but way more convenient. I run it with a 5" 3 jaw and a 6" 4 jaw chuck so it has not been babied. I have replaced the milling portion with a Grizzly G0755 mill as Busy Bee had nothing in its class. Also setting up a replacement lathe, new to me Standard Modern 1334 for increased capacity and precision.
     
  24. David S

    David S Canada Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Regarding your last statement. There could be some truth in that. However there is also another dimension to this. When I was working for a large consumer company our purchasing department was brutal and ruthless with our Chinese suppliers. They just kept beating them down on price.

    When I had to go to China and visit some of our supplier it was embarrassing to have to face them since they were really trying to do a great job. I visited first tier suppliers and third tier with dirt floors. While the best were capable of fantastic quality, some of the third tier ..not so much.

    Someone recommended a book "Poorly made in China" to me. It was a good read since I had experienced many of the examples in the book.

    David
     
  25. tigercat4519

    tigercat4519 Canada Iron Registered Member

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    Hi I don't know if they switched suppliers, how is yours for viberation in the higher RPM's also when you are using it is there any leakage of oil from the aporn gear box? Thanks
     
  26. Starlight Tools

    Starlight Tools Active User Active Member

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    Correction, both stores were started by Shiraz. He was shopping for a drill press to do repairs on his rifles and did not like the local pricing, so he contacted a number of factories in Taiwan, until he got a quoted price. He found that if he ordered more than one drill press the price per unit came down, so he went to his shooting buddies and offered to get them each a drill press at a XX price. When the presses came in and were distributed, others came along and wanted one too, along with other tools. Before they knew it they had a thriving business selling tools and machinery. There were three brothers all involved with BB. A number of years later, there was a dispute about Quality Control and Shiraz left the company, moved to Bellingham and started Grizzly, with each having a contract that they would not ship across the border. That contract expired a few years ago, now they are both free to ship.

    I give Shiraz a lot of credit for his Quality Control and after sales service, which has made him a major contender in the machine tool market in the US.

    Walter
     
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  27. Starlight Tools

    Starlight Tools Active User Active Member

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    Groz is a manufacturing factory in India that turns out a lot of very nice machine tool supplies. They were first trained when England Colonized India, and have been doing this kind of work for centuries. The main importer for Groz is located in the Seattle area, and one of his biggest clients was Boeing Aircraft.

    He was a friend of the Balolia Family and he supplied them with a lot of his products, So these products can be found in both the BB and Grizzly stores and were also available from the other brother's store while it was open.

    Now things may have changed over the years, but when I was in that area, Groz was considered as a decent brand, not a Starrett or Mititoyo, but definitely not that far behind. I have been very happy with any of the Groz products that I have obtained.

    Walter
     
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  28. boz

    boz Canada Iron Registered Member

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  29. boz

    boz Canada Iron Registered Member

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    I purchased a craftex701 from busy bee Calgary. Had some minor issues and found the store and busy bee web site customer service helpful . Within a week my issues were resolved. New change gear bushing and additional user manual pages were provided.
    Boz
     
  30. Tozguy

    Tozguy Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I bought a CT043N lathe through the BB Ottawa store two years ago. The service from Rock and his son Zachary was excellent. The only waranty issue I had during the first year was negotiated throught the Toronto office. They sent me some new D1-4 cams promptly.

    The lathe has served me well and consider that it to be a lot of machinery for what I paid. However no retailler sells an 8000$ new lathe with quality customer support for 3000$. Having a bit of experience with machines it was obvious that the CT043N needed much cleaning, tuning and tweaking from the get-go. But I never expected to get any new machine in such poor condition. I kept reminding myself that it was work I could do and that it had saved me money on the purchase price.

    I was lucky to notice and fix stuff on the lathe before it was too late, or things would have turned out much differently. I have no trouble believing the horror stories from other owners. But don't blame the Chinese, the only reason stuff like this is on the market is because we buy it.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
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