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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > DIY CNC Router Table Machines > FineLine Automation > Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...
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  1. #1

    Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    Thanks to CNCZONE and it's members for this thread!!! I was just about to pull the trigger on a FLA Saturn2 4x4. However, after reading about the poor customer service and what sounds like poor overall quality. I will be going with AVID CNC, making my order now for the PRO.

    Build:
    4x4 Avid Pro,
    Centroid Acorn or Oak, (haven't decided)
    Clearpath servos,
    GMT spindle...

  2. #2
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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    Quote Originally Posted by BAMBOOROLLINGTIP View Post
    Thanks to CNCZONE and it's members for this thread!!! I was just about to pull the trigger on a FLA Saturn2 4x4. However, after reading about the poor customer service and what sounds like poor overall quality. I will be going with AVID CNC, making my order now for the PRO.

    Build:
    4x4 Avid Pro,
    Centroid Acorn or Oak, (haven't decided)
    Clearpath servos,
    GMT spindle...
    So your basing your decision on a couple of bad reviews, maybe 4 or 5 total? The one reviewer sent his back for a full refund, and if you ask he will tell you all the issues he had. I have had mine for over a year and no problems. The Saturn 2 is a welded steel frame machine as opposed to one built from aluminum bolted together which will never be as solid as steel,

    Yet others who have never posted here may be happy with their FLA machines, who knows?

    Nothing wrong with Avid / CNCRP at all, just wanted you to know all is not doom and gloom.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    Sad to see folks say/do this kind thing regarding Fineline. I bought my Saturn over 2 years ago and the machine has been great and I'll admit the support when I needed it was sometimes slow at times but in the end they always came through and were above and beyond meeting my needs. I'm still very happy with my Saturn and have no regrets whatsoever. I still feel it's the very best machine I could have bought for the money spent.

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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    Quote Originally Posted by coherent View Post
    Sad to see folks say/do this kind thing regarding Fineline. I bought my Saturn over 2 years ago and the machine has been great and I'll admit the support when I needed it was sometimes slow at times but in the end they always came through and were above and beyond meeting my needs. I'm still very happy with my Saturn and have no regrets whatsoever. I still feel it's the very best machine I could have bought for the money spent.
    Yes there was one very vocal owner who got more than likely the worst FLA machine ever made.... he got his money back and now is in the very long process of building his own machine from extrusions.

    The other two or three folks had complaints for sure, one got an gantry replaced and the other I am not sure of? I really do not have any idea of how many FLA owners there are that are happy users.

    Most of the times people come here to post a build Thread or a complaint, never to say they are happy. Thats just the nature of Forums.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  5. #5

    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    We've had no real issues with our Saturn 2x4 and any small issues we've had Nate has corrected with either upgraded parts or a fix for existing parts. He's a bit slow to respond but I knew that going in. I can't recall when he didn't respond to a question via e-mail or text, even if it was days later. If we had the room I would sell our 2x4 and get the Saturn II 4x4, largely because I like heavy tools and I like the design.

    David
    David
    Romans 3:23
    Etsy shop opened 12/1/17 - CurlyWoodShop

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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    I'm not here to extol the virtues of one make over another, but I would caution you about using anything other then the standard components for the Pro system. As others here have said, if you're making your machine to make parts, making your own control will add a ton of hours to your build. Thats because Avid does not support the use of anything other than steppers with their machine. Don't get me wrong; Avid is great when it comes to customer support. Its just that their control won't run a Clearpath servo. I'm in the middle of building my own control for Clearpath servos for a 2 x 4 Pro machine and its been a bit of a learning curve. Not what I expected.

    Marv

  7. #7
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    So your basing your decision on a couple of bad reviews, maybe 4 or 5 total?
    If you didn't own a Saturn, would you still buy one after seeing the bad machines people got? From a company that doesn't return phone calls or emails? (And has had a reputation for poor support for 10 years). Most people thought he might have gone out of business.

    You're blaming the customers that got ripped off. Fineline is to blame, not the customers. He could have, and should have, taken care of these customers.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  8. #8
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    Centroid Acorn or Oak, (haven't decided)
    You better check to see if the Oak can even control Clearpaths. I thought it was an analog control, but I could be wrong.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

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    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    If you didn't own a Saturn, would you still buy one after seeing the bad machines people got? From a company that doesn't return phone calls or emails? (And has had a reputation for poor support for 10 years). Most people thought he might have gone out of business.

    You're blaming the customers that got ripped off. Fineline is to blame, not the customers. He could have, and should have, taken care of these customers.
    Yes I would purchase again I had no complaints. The issues from the four or five users that were posted here are the only ones we have seen. Do you know for a fact there are not hundreds of others who are satisfied customers? Could his service be improved, absolutely without question.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

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    To the O.P. you are making the right choice in staying away. I don't have any experience with Avid but they have a long track record. Nate used to be sort of partners with Arron from Avid/Cncrp way back when. Arron dumped Nate because he was horrible with customer service and didn't want his parts associated with that kind of customer care. I for whatever reason always thought Nate was just a little socially retarded, but in the end the truth is he is just a bad guy. I basically took my entire machine apart to try and get it right. It was put together with such a lack of skill or care it was astonishing the machine ran at all. To me it was put together in a way that said," I know better but I don't give a **** ". I told Nate from day one something was off. He sent me a few part and I would go back to the drawing board trying to get it fixed. When I got fed up a year later and told him I was done trying to fix it...he went dark and hasn't answered any of my emails, text or phone calls. The last thing he told me that as it had been too long since I purchased the machine to get a refund...even though he had known I'd been working on it since day one to get the bugs out. The majority of his customers are UNHAPPY...and wouldn't do it over again. Nate and his machines are pieces of ****.

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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    As much as I resolved to stay out of this discussion, it has pulled me in. Bill, you were right. I guess it was inevitable that I'd jump in at some point.

    First, let's break it all down. Apparently, some of the Saturns were built properly. Others seem to have been put together by someone who either didn't know much about welding, or just couldn't care less about workmanship. Either way, some of the machines were junk off the line in the Chinese factory. That's not Nate's fault. He's not the builder. He's the assembler, the final QC guy, and the seller. Therein lies the heart of the problem, IMO.

    Nate does not receive the machines fully assembled. How do I know? Because he had to delay shipping some orders waiting for linear rails to clear customs. I have the emails to prove it. He receives the frames and gantry, adds the linear rails and other parts, installs the gantry on the machine and ships to the customer. I also know, because he says so on his website. Here's the quote: "Designed and Assembled in the United States." (Emphasis added). What is the significance? Glad you asked.

    Because Nate assembles the machines, and some defects are going to be open and obvious to anyone with no more than a passing knowledge of CNCs. Nate knows enough to have recorded an assembly video of his 4 x 4 kit. Take the 4' x 4' I bought and sent back. The first thing I noticed after removing the OxBox were washers placed between the gantry mounting and linear rail interface plate on the left side. (See photos on page 1 of my build thread). That was clear evidence that something was very wrong. I tried to move the gantry. I had to expend too much effort to get the gantry to move at all. Why is this significant? It's significant because Nate was the one who saw that the parts did not fit properly, and was the one who installed the washers. Without the washers, tightening the gantry mounting bolts would have locked the gantry up completely. I knew it instantly. Nate had to know it too.

    I won't bother going over all of the defects. The number is not the point, although there were several.** The point is Nate knew about the defects, knew that there was nothing about the machine that matched up with his published specs, and yet, he sent the machine out to the customer (FWIW, I was a repeat customer) knowing it was junk. I leave it to the reader to apply an appropriate label to what Nate has repeatedly done. I have strong feelings about this sort of behavior. I'm sure I'm not alone.

    In all fairness, I have to say that Nate took the machine back and gave me a full refund. One might say he did the right thing. One might also say it was a reasonable response to doing the wrong thing. I didn't get away free and clear, though. I was still out the cost of building a gantry crane, building two support platforms for my trailer to hold the CNC, and making two harrowing trips to the FedEx depot through horrendous traffic with a top-heavy trailer.

    Others have spoken to the long history on customer service. No need to keep beating that drum.

    Bill,
    (1) There are more than 4 or 5 bad reviews. (2) To focus on the lack of quality in only a few machines totally misses the point, IMO. If it was only one machine, the central problem would nevertheless remain. We have an owner who knew, or darned well should have known that machines were defective and sent them out anyway. There are words to describe the behavior. You know them, just as I do.


    To refresh everyone's memory, Nate says in his advertising, "Our machines come fully assembled, tested, and cut tested." (Emphasis added). If the advertising is truthful, how could Nate send such defective machines out the door? Of course, to believe the advertising, we also have to believe that Nate mounts steppers on X, Y & Z and installs a spindle or router - all necessary to cut testing - and doing it all without lubricating anything, or leaving other evidence behind. Believable? You decide.


    ** If you want more detail, here's a link to my build thread: https://www.cnczone.com/forums/finel...cnc-posts.html


    Erik, FWIW, when I didn't hear from Nate, I sent emails every other day until I did. If it had dragged on very long, I would have increased to daily, 2x/day, or even hourly, if need be. I'm not a patient man when it comes to what I perceive as bad manners/bad business practices.


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    Re: Thanks for the Thread!! Made my decision on which company. NOT FLA...

    Nate made several machines by himself, compare to avid or chinese machines. So his machines lack of quality control. I made 1 ea cnc router machine take about 1 month with alot of attempt to fit bolts, nuts and holes. So do not imagine have a lot expectation from Nate.

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