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Shop Vac Flaws Grind Use to a Halt

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Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Shop Vac Doubles as Food Collector
Rob Spiegel   5/16/2012 10:25:19 AM
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Good point on automotive, Chuck. The cars that find their way into Made by Monkeys tend to be from the 60s and 70s. The types of appliances where the old ones seem to beat the new ones inlcude vacuums, washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and dryers.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Re: Poor quality due to high turnover
OLD_CURMUDGEON   5/16/2012 10:31:04 AM
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I believe the two manufacturers were mentioned in the original post, GENIE & SHOP*VAC.

Concerning the GENIE units, we had several in our facility, some which were used on production machines, so they would run continuously for hours at a time.  While they may have been designated as "pro" quality, we all knew that under these operating conditions, they'd require replacement on a frequent basis.  We were mentally prepared for this, and would trek to HOME DEPOT for replacements.  The only saving grace was that these units were external to the machinery, so when GENIE made frequent design changes, it didn't affect our process.  The one BIG change that did affect our use of these vacuums was that HOME DEPOT stopped carrying the GENIE products, so getting the replacement bags became a nuisance.  My question had been, WHY was a garage door operator company selling vacuum cleaners?  Never made sense to me.  That's like TEXAS INSTRUMENTS selling hair shampoo!!!!  But, it's all moot now, since we've changed the manufacturing process drastically, and no longer need the constant supply of these vacuums.

As far as the SHOP*VAC products are concerned, we have several of them in our facility, which are used in the typical fashion.  However, one is used in the machine shop area to collect the metal shavings from milling, lathing operations, so it's used on a more rational basis.  We've had to replace it once, since the motor died.  Upon inspection, it was determined that the winding opened, and since they're basically a consumer item, it went directly into the dumpster.  The replacement unit has been working fine, although it isn't the exact same model, since the original once was no longer available from LOWES.  And, I have one at home, which I use in my shop & garage, and it has worked fine for about 10 years.

 

roddalitz
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Gold
Re: Shop Vac Doubles as Food Collector
roddalitz   5/16/2012 10:32:16 AM
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The old products outlive modern products ... That was a joke in a 1920's book about motoring: Q. What is the difference between roads made by the ancient Romans and modern roads? A. Roman roads have lasted until the present time.

tekochip
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Platinum
Forgotten Reliability?
tekochip   5/16/2012 10:36:41 AM
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It seems that the newer products out perform the older ones, higher vacuum, lower noise, lighter, etc., but that the quality and reliability have gone down. An earlier post mentioned that as the older engineers leave, maybe their knowledge is not imparted on to the new engineers. I used Fender amplifiers for years, and for a while I had a newer amp that turned into a maintenance nightmare. Fender always had the control panel recessed slightly so that when (not if) the amp fell on its face the controls would be protected. This small design feature was now gone. Control knobs were always metal shafts on the older amps, but the newer one had plastic shafts and with the control panel no longer recessed, the amp would snap a knob off every few gigs. Older Fenders never used connectors inside the chassis, everything was hard wired so there were no connectors to vibrate loose, get filled with cigarette smoke gunk, or fracture solder joints from thermal cycling. These were all little nuances to the construction that the older engineers probably remembered well, but were forgotten by the company as people left. The new amp had better performance than the older amp, but it just couldn't hold up. I'm sure Fender didn't try to make an unreliable amp, they just forgot how to make a good one.
I went back to an older Fender, which only failed once when an exploding coke bottle showered the tubes. The plate voltage arced over to the heater supply in a dazzling, blue light show. The 6L6s died along with the hum balance, but that was the only damage.


dnason@kicmail.com
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Iron
Re: Poor quality due to high turnover
dnason@kicmail.com   5/16/2012 10:51:56 AM
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Even though it was only recently dumped, I cannot with 100% certainty remember who the manufacturer was. I even spent some time looking through the usual stores to see if I could find it before I posted the story.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Shop Vac Doubles as Food Collector
Rob Spiegel   5/16/2012 10:53:57 AM
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That's good, Rod. For a lot of the new appliances that break down, the problems seem to be in the added electronics that didn't exist 20 or 30 years ago. Apparently, there are more things that can go wrong with the new appliances.

Larry M
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Platinum
Re: Poor quality due to high turnover
Larry M   5/16/2012 10:57:19 AM
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Old Curmudgeon writes "I believe the two manufacturers were mentioned in the original post, GENIE & SHOP*VAC."

Ummm, I believe you are misinterpreting the article. The author (or Rob) stated "I was given a more modern shop vac as a gift."

That is clearly a generic use of the term.  We all refer to our workshop vacuum cleaners which do not pull the detritus through the motor as "shop vacs" regardless of the manufacturer. I still use a Montgomery Ward unit I bought on sale in 1971. It's often attached to my table saw to catch the dust.

Old Curmudgeon also writes " My question had been, WHY was a garage door operator company selling vacuum cleaners?"

The keyword here is "selling." They may well have been selling some re-logoed Chinese brand that they didn't specify, design, or manufacture because they had marketing channels into Lowe's and Home Depot, and the Chinese manufacturer didn't. All the big manufacturers do this. Dodge Sprinter, Mercedes Sprinter, Fruehauf Sprinter--it's the same truck regardless.

ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
Hobby shop equipment
ChasChas   5/16/2012 11:38:22 AM
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There is quality equipment of all types if one looks for it and is willing to pay the price. So often people buy hobby shop duty equipment and expect it to perform commercial duty.

Jon Titus
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Blogger
Re: Hobby shop equipment
Jon Titus   5/16/2012 11:43:25 AM
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That's a good point.  Some people also want to pay a "hobbyist" price for professional equipment.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Poor quality due to high turnover
OLD_CURMUDGEON   5/16/2012 12:07:56 PM
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Ummm, I believe you are misinterpreting the article. The author (or Rob) stated "I was given a more modern shop vac as a gift."

Could be ..... I read through the posts rather quickly, and may have done just that.
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The keyword here is "selling." They may well have been selling some re-logoed Chinese brand that they didn't specify, design, or manufacture because they had marketing channels into Lowe's and Home Depot, and the Chinese manufacturer didn't. All the big manufacturers do this. Dodge Sprinter, Mercedes Sprinter, Fruehauf Sprinter--it's the same truck regardless.

The story that I related occurred some 15 years ago, BEFORE China became the dominant manufacturing force for everything from Q-Tips to rocket shps!  And, according to sources at the time, the GENIE brand vacuums were manufactured by a division of the GENIE Garage Door Operator Co. someplace in the U.S.A.  I want to say either OH or MI, but don't recall exactly now.  I do recall that we made several telephone calls in an attempt to secure more replacement bags, but found only an independent manufacturer who claimed to have equivalent replacement bags.  From what we later learned, GENIE completely abandoned that product line.  Maybe someone has more additional accurate info, but is it really worth discussing?

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