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Recently I needed to acquire an accessory for my Vicmarc VL300 lathe. After contacting all of the Vicmarc dealers in the U.S. together with all of the woodturning specialty houses with whom I was familiar, I had no success, the typical response being that the accessory I needed might be available in three to six months.
Then I discovered Ken Rude at Branches to Bowls. com in Canada. Ken is the Canadian Vicmarc dealer. I called and spoke directly with him - the accessory I needed was in stock - and in a matter of a few days I had the Vicmarc accessory I needed. To me, customer service is extremely important, and the service I received from Ken was outstanding and exceptional in every way. From my initial conversation - to timely updates regarding pricing and shipping - to follow up e-mails to assure on time receipt of my order, Ken’s service was fast, professional, personable, and customer oriented.
I could not have been more pleased. It is so good to have a supplier that is dedicated to providing quality Vicmarc equipment together with truly outstanding customer service.
Kyle D. Opelika, Alabama.
Quick email to say how pleased I am with the Carter and Son tools. I’m re-learning how to turn all over again it seems but what a joy to get covered in a pile of curly shavings, lol. These tools are like being handed the keys too a Porsche after driving a Russian Lada. I’ve just started working with the bowl gauge, the spindle gauge is amazing, especially on higher speed, the shavings fly off.
The bowl gauge works so well at my lowest speed, it’s just so much safer. The only problem I have now is that all other tools fail in comparison... Starting too think about a couple more down the road once I get more time flying curly shavings.
During the last year I acquired an older model Vicmarc VL300. The lathe was purchased locally in northern Canada where if you want accessories you will have to purchase from a distance either on line or by phone order. A search on line came up with Branches to Bowls Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta.
I knew what I wanted to accomplish with this lathe, however I did not know exactly what parts or types of accessories I should purchase so I called Ken. What an eye opener that was. Having answered a couple of questions Ken asked me about the lathe, I soon realized I was talking to someone very knowledgeable about Vicmarc products. Ken was not in any rush and we talked about turning in general as well as available options for me relative to accessories for my VL300. In the end I placed an order and Ken has become my “go to” guy for all my lathe needs.
I have ordered numerous items from Branches to Bowls and have been very impressed with the quality of service provided by Ken. Vicmarc products have earned a great deal of respect around the globe and here in Canada, Branches to Bowls Ltd will no doubt earn the respect of the woodturning community.
Robin T. Whitehorse, Yukon.
After an extreme length of time and research into exactly what tools I would upgrade to and make an investment in I decided to go with Carter and Sons (C&S) M42 tools and I wanted to deal with a Canadian distributor. The people at C&S directed me to Branches to Bowls. I placed a request for a quote and was shocked that 30 minutes later Ken called me to discuss my order. Not only did he review my order with me, but offered a wealth of information about turning. I appreciated the exchange so much I had to send him some of the blanks of a type of wood he had never turned before. He promptly sent me a quote and we were able to finalize it the next day.
Thank you very much Ken and I look forward to doing business with you again in the future.
Peter in Nova Scotia.
A few weeks after ordering I was eager to unpack my new Vicmarc VL150 and bolt it on the base waiting in position. The cast iron housing and the quality of the overall manufacturing provides the feel and behavior very much like a solid stand large lathe for projects less than 12”. Additionally, the VL150 comes with the advantages of a small lathe-tools and accessories can be used in close range and operation from the tail stock end is easy, no need moving the assembly and head stock or even mounting the lathe bed. Also, tail stock removal is fast and does not require significant strength.
Electronic RPM control and the VL150 power at very low RPM’s allow turning operation at optimum speed for high quality turning projects. I like that “reverse turning” requires override an is reset to normal direction afterward. In the heat of the moment one is prone to forgetting with unwanted things going to happen.
Turns out I tend to use the Vicmarc VL150 for most projects, unless the diameter or size requires me to use my large lathe. Fortunately, compatibility with its 1” tool rest diameter and the #2 Morse taper tools swap with a large is easy without new inventory. Well worth waiting for the shipment from Australia.
Kai, Calgary, AB.
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