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Author Topic: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!  (Read 586 times)

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Barclay

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Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« on: May 25, 2017, 07:35:03 PM »

I have been looking at getting into intarsia.  I saw the ads for the Al Sesona grinder and it looked like a compact precision made machine.  I went to the website and clicked on the Free Information Kit link and discovered that it does not work.  I should have known something was wrong.  Not to be deterred I clicked on the contact link and asked for product information.  In about a week I got a letter with price list, with a few pictures and not the clearest descriptions of what he has for sale.  Being a machinist by trade he has developed some unique gear for his grinder and given this gear his own unique names.  Still not being sure what gear is necessary, what is optional and what is for really high end complex jobs I send him what I though was a simple request, "I got the letter with all of the options and attachments, but I am unclear what I would need to do intarsias".  Nearly all business people when asked "What do I need to buy from you" respond with a list of what to buy or try to figure out your needs so they can give you a list.  Al's response was,"Google Intarsia on-line and seek enlightening references to provide insight some helpful guidance". He adds to go find a local rock club that does intarsia with one of his grinders and ask them. He then goes on to say how a local lapidary school uses his product and is very happy with it.  The problem with Googling intarsia is that you don't find out what Al Sesona grinder products you need.  By now I am kind of peeved at his "don't bother me" attitude, but I am not ready to write him off so i email him back.  "So you are not going to tell me what pieces of gear I need to buy from you to do intarsia?  If that is too much to ask then I will take my business elsewhere".  He responds that his grinder comes with a 180 grit lap, tells me the price and adds, "Wish I could be  more helpful than that, Paul, but making all component parts for the Grinder requires full time and none available to instruct". I didn't ask for a lesson, just a list.  He goes on, "Given your abrasive attitude reply after my taking time to help, I suggest you educate yourself with lapidary before spending hard earned money buying ANY piece of equipment, only to find out your choice wasn't the best choice to assist your hobby needs".  I don't consider the first reply of "Google intarsias and find other people using my gear" to be "help".  If you can't go to the equipment manufacturer to get "educated" about what you need to buy from the manufacturer, especially considering the unique nature of the equipment, where do you go? I have been doing lapidary for 21 years now, I know very little about intarsia, but I do know that a 180 grit wheel on a flat lap is not all i need by a long shot.  I have never run into anyone selling high cost items that makes it so hard to purchase the items.  One of the things that I believe distinguishes rockhounding from all of the other hobbies I have had is the helpfullness people show to one another.  When I collected comic books, stamps, coins, sci-fi stuff, etc it was about getting there first and getting the time into your collection where it probably stays till the day you die.  Rockhounding and lapidary is all about sharing.  You may not get invited to load up at someone's gold mine, but more often than not rockhounds will take you to where they discovered the cool rocks.  We show off our work and almost all the time we tell folks how we did it so they can make something cool also.  That is why Al Sesona struck me as so strange.  I like the idea of "the little guy" with some technical skills designing an innovative machine, but if you are unhelpful and hostile to your customers there are plenty of nice, helpful folks you can do business with.
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lithicbeads

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 08:59:36 PM »

Unfortunate. I once had the president of a chemical company try to solve a flux problem that his tech could not figure out. Success is an attitude that permeates your life you don't just turn it on and off. I see a lot of off in this story.
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socalagatehound

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 10:47:04 PM »

All I can say is WOW....

Craig
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hummingbirdstones

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2017, 07:32:17 AM »

You really don't need that specialized equipment to do intarsia.  A flat lap of some sort and a protractor will get you the angles you need on straight lines.  Curves can be accomplished with a flex shaft and different sizes and shapes of carving burs or with any of the specialized carving wheels made for cabbing machines.  His machine was pretty cool looking, but it was also pretty expensive.  Add on any of the attachments and you talking some serious money for a specialized machine.  At least a flat lap and a flex shaft have multiple uses.

That guy will be out of business soon enough with that attitude.  Sad that he has no people skills.
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Robin

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2017, 12:20:08 AM »

Wow. This won't end well for him!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Slabbercabber

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2017, 04:30:31 AM »

I'm going to have to take the opposite view on this one.  Al may have been rather short and there is no excuse for rudeness, but he is correct about what he said.  The machine is complete and you don't need anything else to do intarsia.  Additional attachments will not be needed until you get into more advanced projects.  I too would suggest you learn more about the subject rather than trying to get the equipment seller to teach you a new craft. 
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55fossil

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2017, 12:35:28 PM »

   MMMM, this may hurt... me.  As a hobbyist, miner and commercial seller I see both sides of this problem.  Knowing how to let someone know that they are there to sell a product and not teach is dicey. If you have a small profit level on a machine you sell then you have a limited amount of time to spend with a potential customer and still make a profit. This is not aimed at the poster but please consider this. All of us in the business have had many people ask many questions and then never received a sale. A lot of the people purchased at the lowest cut rate store after they garnered the required information.
    That is why this Forum is so outstanding. Hundreds of people willing to share their time, knowledge and experience happily. I get great info here every week and I have been in the business a long time.   
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hummingbirdstones

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2017, 02:11:41 PM »

Devil's advocate, here.   :evil4:

I do believe that what Barclay asked the seller, i.e., what attachments do I need to do intarsia, was not asking about HOW to do intarsia, but rather if he needed to buy any of the seller's attachments in order to do intarsia with the machine.  A simple yes, these are what you need or no, the machine is complete to do intarsia, would not have cost the seller more than 2 seconds, but did cost him a sale.

/devil's advocate
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Robin

Barclay

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2017, 08:05:07 PM »

Robin, exactly.  I was asking for a list, not a lesson.
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TRG

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 06:47:26 PM »

Look into a Raytech Shaw. They work excellent for intarsia
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Barclay

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Re: Stay away from the Al Sesona grinder!!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 08:53:19 PM »

Look into a Raytech Shaw. They work excellent for intarsia

Thanks for the recommend.
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