Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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  #11   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 04:52 AM
Ron Thompson
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

Cash flow is an asset. But the defense would probably be "Hey, you knew it
was a piece of **** when you bought it".

--

Ron Thompson
On the Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast
USA

http://www.plansandprojects.com

Where did everyone go? Oh, yeah. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/castinghobby/
Y'all come, ya hear?
*******
clare @ snyder.on .ca wrote in message
...
On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 12:44:35 -0700, Jim Stewart
wrote:

clare wrote:

On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:08:48 -0500, Richard J Kinch
wrote:


The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering

about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The

local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how

shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts

somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh,

angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So

much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual

power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere

else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF

is
organized and defends itself?



The common method is to make yourself "judgement proof". All profits
are expensed out to an "arms length" entity on a monthly basis so the
company has no assetts. All property and chattels are leased. No
insurance if they can get away with it. Can't get blood out of a
stone, so the lawyers take one look, say there is nothing there, and
move on.


First, the usual 'I am not a lawyer' disclaimer.

I doubt that this would work for Harbor Freight. First of all, they
have intangible assets such as their 'good name'. Secondly, if they
could not pay off a big judgment, the court might order them to be
sold at auction to satisfy the debt.


And if there are no assets to sell????
That is the pivotal assumption. The sale of a corporation with no
assets cannot begin to pay damages. If the assets (merchandise) are
all owned off shore ( in China) and sold on consignment, there is
nothing to sell.

NOT saying HF plays this game, but there are many who do, world-wide.





  #12   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 04:55 AM
George E. Cawthon
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent ElectricDrill Accident)

If you ever bought anything from Harbor Freight you would
know that the instruction and parts manual that comes with a
tool is more like a safety and maintenance manual; there is
lots on what to not do and not too much on how to use the
tool. If you follow the instructions, you are not likely to
get hurt, and if you don't, well you were told, so the
liability part is covered. I mean, does a company really
have to tell you not to peas in your ears? Wouldn't you
know not to leave the key in the drill when you turn it
on? Most tool mishaps are due to operator error and
carelessness and not faulty tools. Most of the time if the
tool is defective, it just doesn't do anything and you
cannot blame the manufacture when you get mad and throw it
down and it bounces up and sticks in your groin.

BTW, Harbor Freight, at least at my store, will without
hassle, replace any tool that you say won't work and if you
return it in an original box they don't even ask for a sales
receipt.

Maybe parents shouldn't let their kids drive 100 lb go
carts, but then they let 5 and 6 year olds drive ATV when it
is illegal for children to operate them. I expect they
still sue the manufacture when their kids get hurt. County
prosecutors could be a little more robust in prosecuting
parent who do stupid and illegal things that kill their
kids. Maybe they ought to prosecute the suing lawyer for
aiding and abbeting a crime also. Sorry for the rant, but
irresponsible people tend to anger me.

Richard J Kinch wrote:

The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?

  #13   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 05:31 AM
LBailey
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

That's BS, Carl. I could undercut anybody in price if I sell garbage put
together by slave labor.

--
Larry Bailey
Illegitimi non carborundum


"Carl Byrns" wrote in message
...
On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:08:48 -0500, Richard J Kinch
wrote:

The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering

about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability.


snip lame attempt to smear Harbor Freight
Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?


Has anyone sucessfully sued an out-of-business American tool company?

If I chop my hand off with my non-OSHA (no belt guard) 1954
King-Seeley table saw, who can I blame?

Do some research into why the US light aircraft industry collapsed
overnight. The Chinese had nothing to do with it- it was all American
lawyers.

-Carl


"The man who has nothing worth dying for has nothing worth living for"-

Martin Luther King, Jr.


  #14   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 06:06 AM
LBailey
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)

Don't buy Chinese products.

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercuryne...ld/5966873.htm

--
Larry Bailey
Illegitimi non carborundum


"Richard J Kinch" wrote in message
...
The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So

much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual

power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere

else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?



  #15   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 03:16 PM
Spehro Pefhany
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability

On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 13:05:45 GMT, the renowned Bill
wrote:

Well, a couple of years ago I bought a $20 hammer drill, knowing that it
would probably fail early. I was right the bearings started going out
on the first job and were really sad on the second, but I went in with
my eyes open. Then a while back I needed a replacement power cord, so I
thought. I will cut the cord off of the hammer drill and get a little
more good out of my $20. Well, the cord didn't have a ground in it. It
had a three prong plug, but no ground wire. So I didn't even get that
last little bit of good out of the drill.

Bill Gill


Cripes, if anyone had gotten electrocuted, the plaintiff's lawyer
would have had a field day. No UL approval, I guess.

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com


  #16   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 06:10 PM
Jeff Wisnia
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent ElectricDrill Accident)

LBailey wrote:

Don't buy Chinese products.

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercuryne...ld/5966873.htm

--
Larry Bailey
Illegitimi non carborundum


That's near impossible to do with so many things these days. You'd be spending
most of your shopping time trying to find a source of what you needed that
*wasn't* made in China.

Speaking of "dangerous tools": Two weeks ago I succumbed to temptation and
bought one of those Remington pole saws (a lightweight 10 inch electric chain
saw on a telescoping pole.) to help me trim back some of the tree branches which
persist in seeking the open spaces over our backyard. (Because every other
direction is blocked by more trees, those trees aren't dumb.). I'd been using
one of those pull rope loppers, but some of the branches which I wanted to cut
were too large for it.

Anyway, the pole saw worked as advertised albeit it's reach wasn't as great as I
would have hoped for. But, the clamp which you tighten to lock the telescoping
pole sections where you want them is pure ****e for the job it has to do. It's a
plastic collet clamping on a shiny fiberglass pole. The collet is closed by a
threaded plastic ring with a ribbed outer surface. Looks OK in principle, but it
would take King Kong to tighten it enough by hand to keep those pole sections
locked in use. And, the (rather crummy) manual which came with the product
specifically warns NOT to use tools to tighten the clamp. Even with work gloves
on I can't tighten it enough to lock it up.

So, after a few seconds of use, the handle at the bottom of the pole, which
contains the saw's trigger switch and it's safety unlock button, twists around
relative to the chainsaw bar at the other end of the pole until I'm turning my
hand and wrist into a pretzel trying to operate the switch, and by then my grip
on that handle is far from stable. Now, I think I'm smart enough to know when to
quit when this happens, but it sure seems like an inadequate design to me, and
there's something about the warning not to use tools to tighten the clamp that
makes me think the manufacturer must know that too.

I Googled around and found that several other people had the exactly the same
complaint about this product in their amazon.com product reviews of it.

An email a week ago to the "manufacturer" (DESA) has produced nothing but a
question asking me if the collet part was turning relative to the pole it's
attached to, and I immediately responded that it wasn't that, but the collet
"jaws" themselves which were slipping on the pole they were clamping. Nothing
has been heard from them since then.

Before someone suggests I drill a few holes right through both pole sections in
several places and stick a bolt through them to fix the pole length where I want
it at the time, let me point out that there's a coiled electrical cord running
up through the pole, so that approach won't be as easy as it sounds.

I think I'll just return the darned thing to Lowes this weekend. Don Foreman
tipped me off about "High Limb Chain Saws" (A few feet of chain saw blade
between two ropes that you toss over the limb and "shoe shine" back and forth.)
I bought one, and it works great, and reaches a LOT higher that that electric
pole saw.

Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"Success is getting what you like; Happiness is liking what you get."






"Richard J Kinch" wrote in message
...
The recent thread "Violent Electric Drill Accident" got me wondering about
places like Harbor Freight Tools and their product liability. The local
store sells an amazing array of dangerous tools. We all know how shoddy
and defective some of them are, and notwithstanding the "electric drill
accident", surely there are many cases where a faulty tool hurts somebody.
What I cannot understand is how they can run a store and sell, oh, angle
grinders for $14.99, since they must be getting sued all the time. So

much
of their stuff is obviously dangerous, and I don't mean in the usual

power-
tool-requires-common-sense way, such as the toys they sell for children
(100 lb go-kart with no effective brakes!) that you can't buy anywhere

else
because no American firm could survive the lawsuits. Does the Chinese
mafia come to visit if you have a "problem"? Does anyone know how HF is
organized and defends itself?







  #17   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 06:23 PM
Ian Stirling
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability

In rec.crafts.metalworking Spehro Pefhany wrote:
On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 13:05:45 GMT, the renowned Bill
wrote:

Well, a couple of years ago I bought a $20 hammer drill, knowing that it
would probably fail early. I was right the bearings started going out
on the first job and were really sad on the second, but I went in with
my eyes open. Then a while back I needed a replacement power cord, so I
thought. I will cut the cord off of the hammer drill and get a little
more good out of my $20. Well, the cord didn't have a ground in it. It
had a three prong plug, but no ground wire. So I didn't even get that
last little bit of good out of the drill.


Cripes, if anyone had gotten electrocuted, the plaintiff's lawyer
would have had a field day. No UL approval, I guess.


Double insulated tools don't need a third wire, even on 240V.
The only possible problem (if it was double insulated) would be if there
is a code problem with connecting a 3 pin plug to a 2 wire cord.

--
http://inquisitor.i.am/ | | Ian Stirling.
---------------------------+-------------------------+--------------------------
'Where subtlety fails, we must simply make do with cream pies' -- David Brin
  #18   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 06:45 PM
Spehro Pefhany
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability

On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 16:23:04 +0000 (UTC), the renowned Ian Stirling
wrote:

In rec.crafts.metalworking Spehro Pefhany wrote:
On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 13:05:45 GMT, the renowned Bill
wrote:

Well, a couple of years ago I bought a $20 hammer drill, knowing that it
would probably fail early. I was right the bearings started going out
on the first job and were really sad on the second, but I went in with
my eyes open. Then a while back I needed a replacement power cord, so I
thought. I will cut the cord off of the hammer drill and get a little
more good out of my $20. Well, the cord didn't have a ground in it. It
had a three prong plug, but no ground wire. So I didn't even get that
last little bit of good out of the drill.


Cripes, if anyone had gotten electrocuted, the plaintiff's lawyer
would have had a field day. No UL approval, I guess.


Double insulated tools don't need a third wire, even on 240V.


True. If the tool was actually double-insulated to meet UL
requirements. If it wasn't approved, we don't know. They might have
used any number of substandard materials. Or maybe it's fine, just
they have not spent the $5K to get the approvals. I've seen both
situations.

The only possible problem (if it was double insulated) would be if there
is a code problem with connecting a 3 pin plug to a 2 wire cord.


*Surely* it's not permitted (by UL or CSA) to manufacture approved
tools with FAKE 3-wire cords.

I'd look at it and assume the exposed metal bits were supposed to be
grounded/earthed, safer than double-insulated in some situations.

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com
  #19   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 07:01 PM
George
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability (was: Violent Electric Drill Accident)


"Jeff Wisnia" wrote in message
...

Those are down to less than $10 this week! Time to stock up on stocking
stuffers!


Is this a regional in store sale? I have seen many references to the $14.99
angle grinders and out of curiousity I visited our new local Harbor Freight.
The least expensive angle grinder was a 4.5 " unit for $39.95. They didn't
seem to know anything about $14.95 units. Where do you find them?



Jeff (Who confesses to being a loyal HF customer for his "hobby grade"
equipment.)
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"I before E except after C"....(The height of insufficient weird ancient
science...)



  #20   Report Post  
Old July 18th 03, 09:04 PM
Ian Stirling
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap import tools and product liability

In rec.crafts.metalworking Spehro Pefhany wrote:
On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 16:23:04 +0000 (UTC), the renowned Ian Stirling
wrote:

In rec.crafts.metalworking Spehro Pefhany wrote:
On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 13:05:45 GMT, the renowned Bill
wrote:

Well, a couple of years ago I bought a $20 hammer drill, knowing that it
would probably fail early. I was right the bearings started going out
on the first job and were really sad on the second, but I went in with
my eyes open. Then a while back I needed a replacement power cord, so I
thought. I will cut the cord off of the hammer drill and get a little
more good out of my $20. Well, the cord didn't have a ground in it. It
had a three prong plug, but no ground wire. So I didn't even get that
last little bit of good out of the drill.


Cripes, if anyone had gotten electrocuted, the plaintiff's lawyer
would have had a field day. No UL approval, I guess.


Double insulated tools don't need a third wire, even on 240V.


True. If the tool was actually double-insulated to meet UL
requirements. If it wasn't approved, we don't know. They might have
used any number of substandard materials. Or maybe it's fine, just
they have not spent the $5K to get the approvals. I've seen both
situations.


As have I, and on 240V, it's a lot more fun.


The only possible problem (if it was double insulated) would be if there
is a code problem with connecting a 3 pin plug to a 2 wire cord.


*Surely* it's not permitted (by UL or CSA) to manufacture approved
tools with FAKE 3-wire cords.

I'd look at it and assume the exposed metal bits were supposed to be
grounded/earthed, safer than double-insulated in some situations.


You might, but is it actually prohibited?

--
http://inquisitor.i.am/ | | Ian Stirling.
---------------------------+-------------------------+--------------------------
Tad Williams has an interesting new fantasy: http://www.shadowmarch.com/


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