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Busy Bee Tools Canada

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

  1. juiceclone

    juiceclone United States Active Member Active Member

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    City:
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    I had a brief email exchange with busy bee a while back, to no avail and I see that my opinion was correct. Welcome to the 21st century of no business ethics.! That lathe is manufactured by Sumore tools in Shanghai. I have a nearly similar model and have had no complaints. From what I see of BB's offerings it seems that they may be selling older? models of the Sumore line.... You have to look in the details.
     
  2. Travis7s

    Travis7s Canada Active User Active Member

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    My main gripe is they don't list if things are out of stock online, so when you place an order half of it is on backorder with no estimate when it will be in.
     
  3. q20v

    q20v H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    City:
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    I have the same BB DF1224g lathe and have it working fairly well. Let me know if you need pictures of the electrical box or anything else to help with your setup.

    Barry
     
    brino likes this.
  4. shopguy

    shopguy Canada Swarf Registered Member

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    City:
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    Hello everyone,
    I just joined this group and this is my first post. There seems to be quite a few people in this group that have had bad experiences with either service or quality of machines purchased from Busy Bee. I would like to offer my own experience and opinions concerning Busy Bee (Ottawa store).

    - Craftex mill drill model B1977 made in Taiwan, purchased new in 2007 I added power feed and DRO, set up on cabinet stand which is anchored to my basement shop concrete floor, the machine is perfectly level and very secure. Also changed pulley belts with link belts. I have had no issues with it in the 8 years that I have been using it, and have used it extensively.
    - Craftex drill press model CT019 made in China, purchased new in 2006. Changed original pulley belts for link belts. I mounted the drill press to a very solid wooden stand that I built with levelling feet and use it regularly, I have had no issues with it in the 9 years that I have owned it.
    - Craftex swivel metal cutting bandsaw model B2544, made in China, purchased new in 2006. Changed original pulley belt for link belt. I have used this machine extensively to cut both Metal and Wood. I have had no issues with it in the 9 years that I have owned it.
    - Craftex metal lathe (13" x 24") model CT089, made in China, purchased new in 2014. Changed original pulley belt for link belt. Changed spindle bearings immediately for high quality bearings. (this was done by choice, never even used machine with stock bearings). The machine is mounted to the stand and anchored to cement floor perfectly level and very secure. I use this machine regularly and I have had no issues with it in the 2 years that I have owned it.
    - Three (3) ton arbor press sold by Busy Bee, purchased new in 2009. no issues.

    In addition, I have purchased tooling, and many other various supplies from Busy Bee Ottawa and have always been treated very well and had no problems of any kind.
     
    Hidyn likes this.
  5. q20v

    q20v H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    shopguy,

    I agree with you regarding the staff at the Ottawa location, they've always been helpful to me as well.
    Good to hear of your successes with the Craftex brand.. Although it may be lower quality compared to some other big names, if you maintain the equipment and don't abuse it, it can produce very good results for a long time.

    Barry
     
  6. Dabbler

    Dabbler Active Member Active Member

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    (great big breath)... I have read this entire thread several times now, and I feel that it would be good to add my $.02.

    I have dealt with Busy Bee since 1981. For the first 15 years or so, I dealt with one of the owners from their Burnaby showroom. I purchased a 12X37 lathe and a B048 32"X6" milling machine, along with several thousand dollars worth of accessories in the mid 80s and early 90s. They were both made in Taiwan. During that time their quality was better than anything I could buy for double the price. I was very satisfied and a devoted customer.

    Before I say the next thing, let me explain: I have 40 years machining experience on all kinds of machines in about 6 shops and have used name brand machines and Taiwanese and Chinese tools regularly over that time....

    (shuffles feet and looks a little nervous) Now to the present. Something happened to this company in the late 90s. I have used recently purchased lathes from BB but not their mills. From a visual inspection and using their lathes I FEEL that the quality, fit and accuracy has gone downhill a loooong way. Not only that, but they have ceased to carry a full line of accessories, so it leaves you looking for a few crucial pieces once you get started.

    I gave them a chance three years ago and bought a VFD 18" bandsaw from them, A CX-101. It works very well, and needed only a little tweaking to get it to perform well. So If you have a LOT of experience you can cherry pick their good stuff, then you can still get good deals and great equipment there.

    About the Calgary store... (after very carefully thinking this through) There is only one guy in the Calgary store to talk to. His name is John, and he has a small amount of knowledge, but admits his limits. Everyone else on the staff have no knowledge whatsoever of metalworking or woodworking machines. I still buy expendable supplies and small tools there and visit the store on a regular basis. I have gone in to buy stuff because they are very close, and been steered away, only to find that the thing I wanted was on the shelf. I now know the store better than most of the employees and don't have to ask.

    So in conclusion... I still buy sanding belts, cemented carbides, and other shop expendables there, usually on sale. Whenever they put a Groz cutter on sale I buy it if I need it. I would steer very clear of their lathes. As far as their mills go, better deals are to be had at Modern and Grizzly. I have been treated well at the Calgary branch by management, and they have taken back returns of anything defective. Caveat Emptor.
     
    Hidyn likes this.
  7. Hidyn

    Hidyn Canada Active Member Active Member

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    I've read this thread a few times myself whilst pondering a sizable purchase from BB. Thanks for the updated thoughts!
     
  8. GerryG

    GerryG Canada Iron Registered Member

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    City:
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    I'm also considering a lathe purchase from Busy Bee in Pickering. Has anybody dealt with the staff at that store or perhaps the Barrie location?
     
  9. JohnnyTK

    JohnnyTK Canada So New Still Setting Up Shop! H-M Supporter-Premium

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    My first experience as newbie to machining, but coming from a diesel and refrigeration background was not a positive one at the Mississauga location. I was looking at tooling up and began to ask the sales person about the lathes, drill presses and cut off saws, he told me he had no idea about metal working. So then I decided to ask him some questions about some wood working tooling, that I was also interested in and again I got the same response. So I left and made my purchases at other vendors. I have stopped in a bought some tools and supplies due to convenience.
     
  10. slow-poke

    slow-poke Canada Active Member Active Member

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    The customer service in the Mississauga store during my one and only visit was so bad I have never returned.
     

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