Kudos to Jet customer service

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ErnieM

Ernie
Corporate Member
I have a 4 year old Jet 10/20 drum sander that I thought I would use occasionally when I bought it. Turns out I use it almost every day. This past Tuesday night I tried to raise the drum by turning the crank and found that the threaded hole in the arm was totally stripped and the threaded rod which raises and lowers the drum was just turning loosely in it. A little research on the internet machine informed me that I am not the only one to have this particular problem.

The next morning I called Jet and was told that there is no "fix" for the problem - I needed a new arm assembly and height adjustment screw at a cost of about $270.00 - OUCH! The closest repair shop is in Raleigh - second OUCH!. He then informed me that my machine is 4 1/2 years old and Jet warrants their woodworking machines for 5 years, so he's mailing the parts to me and they would cover the costs of the repair if I take it to Raleigh. To my surprise, the parts arrived at my door this afternoon. I decided to test my non-existent mechanical skills and attempt to repair the machine myself. After an hour or so of head scratching, I finished the repairs and the machine works like new.

So my thanks to Gale Murry at Jet technical services for his help and quick service, and to Jet for standing behind their product. Hopefully, the problem won't rear its ugly head in another 4 years.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Don't trash the old arm. Most likely it could be fixed with a Helicoil insert. I am assuming, and you know what happens when you assume, it is an aluminum arm, with steel threaded rod passing through it. Would be interesting to see if this would work. If so post it on internet for others to follow.
 

ErnieM

Ernie
Corporate Member
Don't trash the old arm. Most likely it could be fixed with a Helicoil insert. I am assuming, and you know what happens when you assume, it is an aluminum arm, with steel threaded rod passing through it. Would be interesting to see if this would work. If so post it on internet for others to follow.

Yes, it is an aluminum arm. I've seen some photos on the net where the design has been changed and the threaded hole is not part of the arm itself but is on a separate part bolted to the arm. I don't know if that is a new design but it would make fixing this problem a lot simpler - especially if it wasn't made out of aluminum. I also read about the fix using a helicoil insert, but that is way, way above my ability to do. If anyone has this machine and wants the old stripped out arm, you're welcome to it. I'll hold onto it for a while just in case.
 

PeteStaehling

Pete
Senior User
Don't trash the old arm. Most likely it could be fixed with a Helicoil insert. I am assuming, and you know what happens when you assume, it is an aluminum arm, with steel threaded rod passing through it. Would be interesting to see if this would work. If so post it on internet for others to follow.
I had two failures that were exactly the same. The first one they sent the arm, the second they send an arm and the threaded shaft. I had a customer job waiting for the sander so I made an insert with a shoulder and held in place with a set screw. I think it is a permanent fix and I likely will never install the new parts they sent. After two failures of the original part, I think the insert is a better solution. Ideally a heli-coil would be the answer for a repair, but I used what I had on hand. I think either would be better than the new part.

On the other hand replacing the arm and the threaded shaft with real Jet parts may solve the problem if the threaded shaft was at least part of the problem. I suggest that if anyone has the same problem and is getting warranty parts they should ask for both parts not just the arm.

While I think the design is flawed, they definitely were responsive with service on the failures and I will buy Jet again.

BTW, The thread isn't a standard thread that I could find a helicoil for. It turned out to be the same pitch as an NPT tap I had (or at least so close that the threads meshed with no daylight between them when the tap was laid against the shaft). The diameter was larger than the smaller end of the tapered NPT thread, but closer to the big end was a good match so I started with an oversize hole and ran the tapered thread further in from both ends until it was a good fit for the shaft. I made the part out of a brass pipe fitting that I drilled out. I ran the tap in from both sides and wound up with a thread that was tight enough, but didn't bind. I have the official Jet replacement parts if it ever fails, but I expect it to hold up long term and if it doesn't I might just make a new part from steel instead of brass rather than use the official Jet parts. I figure that if I ever sell it the buyer may trust the Jet parts more than my fix so having them is a plus.
 
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ErnieM

Ernie
Corporate Member
On the other hand replacing the arm and the threaded shaft with real Jet parts may solve the problem if the threaded shaft was at least part of the problem.

While I think the design is flawed, they definitely were responsive with service on the failures and I will buy Jet again.
The did send an new arm and threaded rod and I installed them both. If they fail again, I will try your method as my machine will be out of warranty.
 

PeteStaehling

Pete
Senior User
The did send an new arm and threaded rod and I installed them both. If they fail again, I will try your method as my machine will be out of warranty.
I edited my original response above to add some details on how I did the fix dealing with the apparently oddball thread. I think that worst case a machinist might do the job for less than the price of the Jet parts.

Not specifically with Jet, but I have had other companies warranty stuff even though it was well outside the warranty period, especially for stuff where it had failed in the same way before. So always ask what they can do for you even when stuff is out of warranty. I have had good luck admitting that an item was out of warranty and asking if there is anything they can do. More often than you might think companies will treat you better than they are required to.
 

ErnieM

Ernie
Corporate Member
Not specifically with Jet, but I have had other companies warranty stuff even though it was well outside the warranty period, especially for stuff where it had failed in the same way before. So always ask what they can do for you even when stuff is out of warranty. I have had good luck admitting that an item was out of warranty and asking if there is anything they can do. More often than you might think companies will treat you better than they are required to.
Should the need arise, I will certainly call Jet first. While I am impressed with their warranty service now, I would really be impressed if they covered the same repair a second time for a recurring problem. Time will tell.
 

PeteStaehling

Pete
Senior User
Should the need arise, I will certainly call Jet first. While I am impressed with their warranty service now, I would really be impressed if they covered the same repair a second time for a recurring problem. Time will tell.
They did replace the parts for mine twice. Mine is only a couple years old, but is used quite a bit pretty nearly every day so it gas a lot of hours on it for it's age. The parts are expensive enough that knowing that it can be a recurring issue, I might replace it with something else if I had to buy the parts. Since I figured a way to fix it without the parts I hope to be using it the rest of my life and leave it to my grandson :)

I wonder if they are addressing the problem on newer 10/20 models. It has been a very nice machine other than that issue and I would be much more likely to recommend it if they addressed the problem. As it is I do recommend it, but with a caveat.
 

ErnieM

Ernie
Corporate Member
T

I wonder if they are addressing the problem on newer 10/20 models. It has been a very nice machine other than that issue and I would be much more likely to recommend it if they addressed the problem. As it is I do recommend it, but with a caveat.
I saw a picture on the internet of a 10/20 that had a small extension bolted to the arm. The extension had the threaded hole in it. In that design, you would only have to replace the small extension instead of the entire arm. I don't know if that picture showed an older model or the newest model.

I agree - the 10/20 is a nice machine except for this design flaw. I didn't think I'd use it very often, but I was wrong. I'm sorry I didn't get a bigger one - a mistake I won't make again.
 
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