Part Quality Control. Much Corporate nonsense. And it's still on the market - not discontinued.
I design and create pretty much anything I want - including specialist wood machining tools, and having designed and built die casting dies, built furnaces and run machine shops to produce finished parts from the castings - blah, blah, blah...
Anyway with much sanding to be done, I bought a Makita M9400G. One reason was price $149, another reason was the wide 10mm / 4" belt, and the other was the big open front roller, that gave it the ability to work like a "roughing out" internal spoke shave., and it was listed as having variable speed - both on the Mitre 10 website and the Makita Website:
100x610mm belt size
Belt speeds of up to 380m/min
Dependable 940W* motor
Unique design for flush to wall sanding
Variable speed control.
Dust extraction system.
But the thing is there is NO variable speed control on the machine. There is nothing about it in the user manual,
And this being the only reference to it:
To start the tool, simply pull the switch trigger. Release the switch trigger to stop. For continuous
operation, pull the switch trigger and then push in the lock button, and then release the switch trigger. To stop the tool from the locked position, pull the switch trigger fully, and then release it.
And the switch mechanism in the parts list shows a simple on off trigger based switch with a lock on thumb switch.
This relates to about 5 or 6 different Makita Belt Sanders on the market, with some on the Makita website and some on the retailers website, ALL of them were advertised as having speed controllers / variable speed - and ONLY one model actually came with speed control.
I am a bit fed up with sloppy operators not keeping their advertised products and websites up to date. So I have brought this to the attention of the office of fair trading.
So that is awesome Part 1.
Awesome Part 2 begins with, "Remember my jolly chit chat about designing and building and using die casting dies.... and machining up the castings - and designing timber working tools and machinery?"
Well with that big old mostly open nose roller, when I was using the nose to hollow out an internal curves, as one would with an internal spoke shave, that big old roller gave a rapid, "thump, thump, thump" as it was running.
I immediately figured that this was bad, as that kind of hammering, means a flat spot with corners, is mangling up little strips of the grit and it's binder and the cloth belt - especially when sanding steel, and less quickly so - on hard gypsum plaster. Off the top of my head with my typical aplomb for uncanny estimating, IF the front roller was perfectly round, I might be able to get say 20 hours of sanding plaster of Paris, from one 40 grit sanding belt. With the roller and it's two flat spots, that belt might last 5 hours... It would also reduce the roller's bearings lives down to about 30%.... and the light hammering would slowly work things loose and damage the machine.
So I offed the belt and found that the lazy craps making the rollers, were using worn die casting dies, and there is a little "leakage" when the Liquid Alumium is rammed into the die - and it's leaving a thick strip of flashing, and the fools are grinding that down by hand on a big linishing belt, leaving hollows on both sides of the roller prior to cylindrically turning the roller for a uniform circumference, and to match the bearing locations, to the rollers centre axis.
The flat spots are not hollows in the spherical sense, they are hollows in that the flats they have created, are below the circumference of the roller - hence the thumping, when the roller section is used to hollow out internal curves etc., much like cold tyres on a car that has been parked in the one spot for several months.
So to replace the roller is to undo two screws and pull the unit out and stick a new one in...
However, there is a general cluelessness amongst corporate call centres, that are in cities, in that they think that everyone in Australia, the BIG country, simply lives in Australia, when many of us actually live in the BIG.
So after paying freight to get it delivered, and finding the serious sanding belt busting roller, I rang the "72 questions to do everything but" Makita Customer Service number on 1300 361 690, - when I explained that the machine is new, can you organise to get a new front roller assembly sent out to me, and I will replace it myself....
They had absolute crap fits! "Me, do work! Can't you see I am busy sucking on Tim Tams and Coffee. I get paid good money to sit here and warm this seat all day - how dare you ask me to grow a brain and do anything for a living".
And then came the brush off - "Your supposed to take it back to the place you bought it from"....
Well remember "the big" in the big country.... I am not driving anywhere for anyone, especially when it requires many hours to do so.
I am also not going to see an entire machine trashed, while a replacement is bought in, taking 2 or more weeks to arrive.
And I am NOT getting bounced around - when it was their responsibility for their lax production standards that both allow junked parts be produced AND then to pass the quality control inspections, and to then to come out on an otherwise fine machine.
I paid them to supply an up to specification machine out of the box, and if they are too damned clueless to promptly rectify the fault by sending me out a replacement part as requested, and then chasing the fault back through to the production lines and upgrade their quality control - then that is their problem.
And I am not going to be a willing recipient of a did machine, and I am not going to wear the buck passing brush off's because Princess Makita does not want to have to work for a living.
See to me,sending out a replacement roller assembly should take no more that 3 days freight and 5 minutes of work on my behalf - this is entirely sensible. Them giving me the finger and saying, "Not my problem - Go fetch" is not acceptable.
You see the managers of Makita Australia are expecting me to accept getting pushed into playing "You take it all the way back to the shop you bought it from, and and and and" - what it comes down too, is that they put the onus onto me to go chase up what their sloppy operations have lead too, and in terms of getting it repaired - they entered into a contract with assorted service agents, and this is their problem, I did not..
So I am not sending anything anywhere, I am not doing any deliveries to anyone, via any transport company, and I am not going to play kiss butt to a call centre genius who can't figure out how to put new batteries in the ex-wifes best friend.
After a number of her efforts to avoid any effort what so ever, with repeated work shirking "answering my question with more questions" and absolutely not liking it when her attempts at diversion did not work, I asked to speak with her manager...
Makita Australia's Customer service manager was in her office with another manager - she said, and could not be interrupted, and when I rang back to talk to her 30 minutes later, on the basis of 30 minutes was more than long enough for a meeting, and ""she had not called me back"", she had left the building the genius with the battery operated boyfriend, told me so.
The genius and her Bob, also didn't get it that in order for someone to be able to call me back, they would have to have been given my number, so she was asking me for my number to give to the customer service manager - again... And when this was pointed out, that the purpose of the second call was to contact the Makita Australia customer service manager, to get a new front roller assembly sent out to me, and not to play along with another round of playing 72 questions, by her doing everything, except earning a wage by serving the customer, and resupplying a number that had already been supplied.
I figured on the basis of the hysterical levels of work avoidance reached, that her supply of D-Cells had run out.
The next day, the Makita Customer Service Manager rang me, and did nothing about sending the part out, starting with, "Well send us a few photos of the roller and the receipt and the models serial number so we can chase the issue up from our end, and we will have the part in the mail for you by the end of the day" - when I told her I was singularly unimpressed with the standard of service - she proceeded to lecture me how her two staff had done an exemplary job of providing customer service, while her Iphone, beeped every 10 seconds, as she recorded the call...
I told her that the roller, like her service and attitude, was neither intelligent nor helpful, and I wondered how a person like her could have gotten a job like this in a place like that.
Then the next day, I received an email from the Makita Australia Manager.... who after considering the whinings and side steppings with more whinings, of his staff, didn't go, "Sorry about the problems, I will arrange to send the part out express and you wouldn't be in need of a 9" angle grinder would you :) - I have a spare one sitting here on my desk if you want it" - Nope, what did he do? He went, "Tsk, Tsk, Tsk, and Tut, Tut, Tut" - and as he wittol'd his mighty battle tooth pick high in the air, and waggled his rather soft pointy finger, at me, and I thought, "When those Tim Tam sucking seat warmers, run out of their supply, he is probably the manly one who gets down on his knees to beg for forgiveness, and to ask them for permission to leave the office and buy them some more.
And I told him so - only far more concisely.
Cc. Makita Australia, Mitre 10 Australia - local and national, and Makita Japan.
Makita 9400G - One of the Best Belt Sanders Around And Built to Last For Many Years.
The MT Makita series unique design allows for flush standing next to walls as the belt tracks in line with the edge of the housing
Flat top design enables upside down application
Built in dust extraction for efficient dust extraction of large amounts of saw dust
Large lever – is used to quickly and easily change the sanding belts.
The Makita M9400MG is actually better than the AEG HBS1000E , only used the AEG Belt twice and the motor to belt drive broke , it shredded in the belt housing which caused the AEG belt sanding to stop operating as it should be.
Makita MG9400 is better build and it way it is designed to do is belt sanding.
Great belt Sander.
This is a basic model. However is strong and well built. Will stand up to a lot of hard work. I turned mine into a 'Portable Bench Top Belt Sander', a la YouTube. Well worth the money and should last for years. There are cheaper models around. However I've been caught too often with cheap tools. Cheap aint cheap.
So far I have sanded 10 square metres of clear coated floorboards back to bare timber. The sander was easy to use, performed well and did a great job on the floor.