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Inland swap top

Posted by Paul Hewitt  
Re: Inland swap top
August 28, 2011 12:56AM
Of course I contacted them and got a new motor and that one failed too. It is not a question of customer service ... it is a question of selling junk products. My opinion of course.
Re: Inland swap top
December 19, 2011 01:38AM
I wish I had found this thread before we got ours. Within one year we are now on our 4th motor and don't have a lot of faith that it isn't going to fail as well.. This last time we had it replaced Jerry told my husband they have done improvements and added some kind of seal. To us it looks identical to the others. We have a 50 year old Highland Park to do most of our heavy grinding and use the Inland for the finishing and polishing. With the motor failing on us again and again we have a lot of cabs waiting to be completed. Really sorry we didn't spend a little extra money on a more reliable machine.

Re: Inland swap top
December 28, 2011 01:28AM
I have the 6" swap top. I have not had any issues with the motor (yet). I am however having trouble cutting a domed cab. I am not sure if I am just not used to it or what. I know that in the beginning I was pressing a little to hard and they cabs were a mess! I am now letting the diamond disc do the work and just lightly making contact with the disc. I just cannot get beyond having tiny little flats on the dome. Has anyone else had this problem?
Re: Inland swap top
November 02, 2012 08:57PM
I tried to but an Inland Swap Top . After placing the order that was the last I heard from the company. No answer at customer service and no response to e-mails. Does any one know anything about this company.
Re: Inland swap top
November 02, 2012 09:01PM
Be very glad you did not buy one. They are junk. The company saved you a ton of money and frustration.
Re: Inland swap top
November 03, 2012 12:06AM
The Swap-top motor does have an auto-off function if it gets too hot. If you're using it for long periods of time or forcing a stone through the blade rather than letting the blade do the cutting, the motor will overheat and soon stop. This is not a "burned out" motor, but one that has shut down to prevent damage. The first time this happened to me, I panicked and called Inland, but they told me to just let it cool down. Sure enough, all was well.

I use mine to saw agates and use it every few weeks. I think I've had the same one for over 3 years now without issue. It isn't the best saw in the world (far from it), but it does the job. And I'm not saying that the motors don't burn out - I'm sure they do - but they're not for heavy use. Try letting it cool down and try it again later.

Good luck, everyone.
Re: Inland swap top
November 03, 2012 12:25AM
Thanks Dan but the problem that I (and many other people) had was water and sediment getting into the motor and burning out the bearings. Mine sounded fine for about half an hour then I thought it turned into a spice mill full of gravel. Inland sent me a new motor which lasted about an hour then did the same thing. I even took the motor down and had very high quality bearings installed and it happened again. Since the motor is mounted vertically the water naturally goes right down into it. It is not in a waterproof casing. There is just a water slinger on the shaft but evidently it does not work too well. It is a known problem that they could probably fix with a 5 cent rubber oring but in the meantime I have a plastic tub with $500 worth of trash in it. Just my opinion of course.
Re: Inland swap top
November 03, 2012 11:33AM
I bought the Inland lap for the purpose of grinding home-made polished sections for ore petrology and also the odd thin section. I had the common experience of blowing a motor in the first couple of hours use. Replacement motor was quickly sent out at no cost and has lasted much longer but I'm careful not to put too much stress on it. Never had a drop of moisture in it. Turn the variable resistor to at least 3/4 so it gets a decent RPM up before putting a load on it etc. Yes, its a cheap machine, but I consider most of the better machines to be a bit of a rip-off, frankly. Why should anyone pay in excess of $1000 for what is basically just a sealed turn-table and an off the shelf electric motor. If the Inland blows again my next step will be to build my own. We had the same niche market rip-off with trim saws until the cheap Chinese tile saws came on the market, (<$100 including diamond blade). These do the job just as good as a $700 machine, and last for years.
Ali Kelly
Re: Inland swap top
February 23, 2013 04:07AM
I have absolutely no faith in Inland Swap Top machines. I have used mine about 4 times to grind a window in some beads. Not heavy work at all and I have never used the saw. The motor failed and blew the power to the house. Would you believe it was two weeks out of warranty and Andrew at Aussie Sapphire replaced the motor for me splitting the cost with me for a new one because Inland Swap wouldnt honour the warranty being out of date. Andrew had told me he stopped selling the machines because they were always being returned with water in the motor. He said it didnt even have to be water... just moisture would be enough to wreck the motor. So here I am.... an hour into grinding the bead with the new motor when the same thing happened. Stopped dead. I sent the top and the motor back to Andrew who said it was "operator error" and I would have to pay for a new top because the little lip had worn down because I had put the arbor nut on wrong. I am not paying for another motor for a badly designed machine that uses water which is bound to go into a non water tight motor. And I shall never deal with Andrew at Aussie Sapphire again either.
Re: Inland swap top
February 28, 2013 01:14PM
my motor failed after a short time i sent it back to inland and followed up with a call to find out why it failed they told me it was a bad speed control and would replace the motor when the next shippment came in 2 weeks turned to 4 weeks to 8 weeks so i started calling they finally shipped me a new motor but it had a big sticker on the motor claiming it was operator error and they replaced the motor as a courtesy and it would no longer be covered under any type of warranty so i guess if you complain to much they just change the rules anyway the motor still sits on the bench just the way the shipped it i may get a chance to use it this spring when it gets nice out i plan to go fishing and i might be able to use it as an anchor thats all it s worth i won't even try to sell it on ebay to screw someone else like i got screwed!
Re: Inland swap top
February 28, 2013 05:14PM
Clearly your needs are different than that of a lapidary. We do lapidary for a living and a cheap Chinese tile saw will not do what a quality lapidary machine will do. However, you are right, those same quality lapidary machines do seem a little expensive. I feel the same way about "nicer" cars. They are just a car so why pay extra for a name, right? I guess the same can be said about a house too.

I do encourage you to build your own equipment. I have done it many times to fit our needs.

We sold the swap top units in our store for a short period of time--See my previous posts.

I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Re: Inland swap top
March 10, 2013 03:13PM
Yes, I have been in contact with Inland. They tell me to send the saw in for repairs and the cost would be $95 for the motor and switch. I have used this saw so little over a two year period that I feel should be replaced with no questions. This was an ongoing problem in the beginning. When I first purchased the saw the motor pulsated and they replaced it with no questions. I received the new saw and hardly use it for a hobby and that motor pulsated and burned up cutting 1/8" glass. I could not get to first base with customer service for replacing the motor and I even offered to install it myself to save on shipping costs. All I would expect is that they send me a motor with out charge. Well I have since sent an email to the president of the company and have not heard back. After reading all of the same problems others have had with this saw I begin to think they certainly have a problem with the motors they use. If I could find a source that has a replacement motor I would certainly try that. If anyone knows of a source please email me.
Keith Bainbridge
Re: Inland swap top
November 26, 2014 06:47AM
Hello Jimmy
I have read your thoughts on the inland swap lap and thank you very much. \I was going to purchase one for Christmas but you convience me not too. I live in Canada and would like your opinion on a cab machine for around $300.00. Do you know of any?
Re: Inland swap top
November 26, 2014 10:38AM
I finally ditched my Inland after the motor burned out a second time. If they could re-engineer or up the specs on the motor unit it would be a good machine for occasional use. I had a business need to use a lapping machine more often so I bought a new Australian-made Gemmasta. Keith, if you visit a local lapidary club they often have good second-hand cabbing machines for sale at significantly lower prices than a new unit.
Re: Inland swap top
November 26, 2014 10:15PM
Interesting, I bought a 8'' Inland Swap top just a month ago. So far I haven't had any problem
with it and it already has lots of hours of near-abusive level work done without a hitch. I'm using
it mostly to clean rough before I send it to be cut oversea

The only negative side so far is the vibration. I admit that I use 80 grit Chinese disks but even
with the better disks of finer grit that came with the machine it vibrates and is noisy. Probably
due to the all plastic construction. I have not used the saw yet since I have another one setup

For a beginners this machine is quite all right. When I'll get better and have more budget I'll go
for a Covington Combo but until then I'm happy with what I have
Re: Inland swap top
November 26, 2014 11:06PM
That is good to hear. Perhaps Inland have finally re-engineered the motor or controller unit?

Re: Inland swap top
November 29, 2014 04:40PM
I don't know if the motor is different or not, but the replacement is cheap and if it fails I may
just take it to my city's electric motor shop and have a better motor put in the casing.

Thing is there's really not a lot of choice in that price range. I wanted a Covington 6'' combo
drill and grinder but this thing is expensive, close to 2000$ with taxes and shipping. Maybe
one day but for now I'm more than happy with the Inland.

I even made my first Moonstone cabochons today smiling smiley
Re: Inland swap top
January 23, 2015 08:15PM
My $350, 8" Ameritool flat lap has been with me for 8 years logging hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of abusive use cutting cabs, slabs, free-forms, spheres, etc and is still running strong as my go-to machine for most of my small cutting projects, preferred over my $1500 CrystalMaster Pro 12".

You do get what you pay for, but there are dependable machines to be had at reasonable prices.

Happy cutting!

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