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View Full Version : Grizzly Gunsmithing Lathes... Any Good?



Kibby
04-25-2010, 06:18 PM
As far as Chicom stuff, is there any better? What would you guys recommend for American iron? The only chinese lathe I ever had was a Jet 9x20, and it as a real POS. Any advice at this point would be good advice, because if it were me I would save my pennies and just buy a Monarch or a SB Heavy 10 maybe. Is there any lathe that is considered the gold standard for g'smiths? :confused:

Toolguy
04-25-2010, 08:52 PM
Judging from the Grizzly lathes I've seen, you would be well equipped with their Gunsmith Lathe. They seem to have some of the best quality of Chinese tools of anyone I know of.

the4thseal
04-25-2010, 11:37 PM
I think Emco is very good. the V13 would be good for gun smithing.

Kibby
04-26-2010, 05:29 AM
I think Emco is very good. the V13 would be good for gun smithing.

I havent found a reliable place to look into those in the USA. Got any links?

RJM
04-26-2010, 07:00 AM
Kibby,
I've looked at the smaller Grizzly GS lathe close up & it has all the features I want. Also you have to consider the great service that Grizzly gives. Perhaps I'll get the smaller lathe as a "retirement" gift to replace may old Atlas.

Regards, Ron

rws
04-26-2010, 08:49 AM
I know quite a few smiths that use Grizzly lathes, and do good work. I also know one fellow that bought one and it had bad bearings, and he couldn't get decent warranty service, so he returned it. He bought a Victor from MSC and loves it.

RWO
04-26-2010, 01:25 PM
You might look at Jet. They are importers, too but have a wide selection of lathes. They will likely be able to provide parts support long term since they are quite a large company. I have had a 13x36 Jet since 1988 and it has performed very well. However, it was made in Taiwan. I heard somewhere that Jet still sources some tools in Taiwan but I don't know which ones.

RWO

rolland
04-26-2010, 03:24 PM
I have its little brother the G4003 for the past 5 years and it has caused me zero trouble. I have a collet set up (Grizzly) for it, I use it the most.

Kibby
04-26-2010, 08:09 PM
You might look at Jet. They are importers, too but have a wide selection of lathes. They will likely be able to provide parts support long term since they are quite a large company. I have had a 13x36 Jet since 1988 and it has performed very well. However, it was made in Taiwan. I heard somewhere that Jet still sources some tools in Taiwan but I don't know which ones.

RWO

Are any machines still made in Taiwan? If so, which ones? I remember when Taiwanese machines and everything else they made there was crap, then all of a sudden they seemed to become pretty decent. Then as soon as they were practically awesome machines for the price, they were darn hard to get and they seems to be practically nonexistent now. Is there a resource for Tai machines still available?

MuellerNick
04-27-2010, 02:31 AM
Why's that a gunsmithing lathe? Sounds more like sales buzzing. Or maybe it means "Not rigid enough for serious cuts"

->
US Sales droid: "Gunsmithing" sells good!
German sales droid: "Toolroom" sells good!

Nick

JCHannum
04-27-2010, 07:54 AM
Grizzly has three lathes it calls gunsmith lathes. They have a couple of added features for gunsmithing. The owner of Grizzly is active in benchrest shooting, so he does have some experience in what would be appreciated. While they are typical chicom machines, the combination of features and an attractive price make them appealing for gunsmithing.

This is the 13" machine, there are also 14" & 16" machines;

http://www.grizzly.com/products/13-x-40-Gear-Head-Floor-Lathe/G9036

Just myself, but I would prefer a belt drive machine for the better finish provided. The main things to look for are enough room through the headstock for a barrel to pass full length and 5C capability so that you have 1-3/8" through the headstock.

A Heavy 10 is an excellent machine for gunsmithing as are most 13" machine. I have a 13" Sheldon which will do anything I need. I think anything over 13" would prove too large for most, a smaller lathe would be needed for small work, and most gunsmithing beyond barrel work is small work.

MuellerNick
04-27-2010, 08:37 AM
Exactly that lathe (except the smal settop cabinet for switches) was sold to me (= idiot) as a "toolroom lathe". It's a POS-lathe. I discussed that in a thread about two months ago.


Nick

Mike Hunter
04-27-2010, 10:28 AM
I bought the G0554 about 6 years ago, they upped the price about $1000 and now call it the G0554Z.

Used strictly for smithing

The best that I can say about it is that itís not a bad lathe (notice I didnít say it was a good lathe). After only 6 years of useÖitís getting worn, Iíve had to shim the cross feed gib, yes wore that quickly, Had to modify the cross slide nut, the nut was only held in by a little metric screw, which quickly wallowed out. Now I have a problem with the tailstock, wonít stay put when clamped.

All bearing surfaces (besides the ways) looked like they were hand scraped with a brickÖfelt that way too.

Screws were cheap Chinese junk, soft as butter.

Headstock bearings have held up though, runout is still less than I can measure, ways show little to no wear..so I guess that they are hardened as advertised.

Would I buy another Grizzly latheÖsimple answer is no, too many issues. My next lathe would be a lightly used NardiniÖ. Anybody out there selling one?

Mike Hunter
Hunter Restorations

CLARKMAG
04-27-2010, 11:38 AM
Grizzly lathes are built from the same Chinese parts as other Chinese lathes.
It is just like Chinese riflescopes.

You want your own brand of Chinese lathes?
You fly to China.
You meet with these people:
http://www.made-in-china.com/manufacturers-search/china-products/huntb3nolimit/Lathe-1.html
You pick the features from the catalog.
You make up some model numbers.
You pick some colors.
You tell them the name of your brand.
You hire a local QA man in China to represent you.
You fly back to the US.
You set up here in the USA, a sales, receiving & inspection, and customer service facility where you install DRO or other add ons.


Here are some names already taken in China: Jet, BSA, Grizzly, Mueller, Birmingham, Burris, GMC, Millet, Precision Matthews, Sightron, Sharp, Redfield, Enco, Bushnell, Turn-Pro, Simmons, Clausing, Pentax, South Bend, Weaver, etc.

Any name you pick, it will still have parts interchangeable with a Grizzly lathe.

radkins
04-27-2010, 05:56 PM
Grizzly lathes are built from the same Chinese parts as other Chinese lathes.
It is just like Chinese riflescopes.

You want your own brand of Chinese lathes?
You fly to China.
You meet with these people:
http://www.made-in-china.com/manufacturers-search/china-products/huntb3nolimit/Lathe-1.html
You pick the features from the catalog.
You make up some model numbers.
You pick some colors.
You tell them the name of your brand.
You hire a local QA man in China to represent you.
You fly back to the US.
You set up here in the USA, a sales, receiving & inspection, and customer service facility where you install DRO or other add ons.


Here are some names already taken in China: Jet, BSA, Grizzly, Mueller, Birmingham, Burris, GMC, Millet, Precision Matthews, Sightron, Sharp, Redfield, Enco, Bushnell, Turn-Pro, Simmons, Clausing, Pentax, South Bend, Weaver, etc.

Any name you pick, it will still have parts interchangeable with a Grizzly lathe.




I was not going to say anything this time but I wanted to respond to your reply, I have found what you are saying to be exactly the case! I had a few things to say about HF lathes (the 14x40" in particular) and basically that several of these brands are the same machine except for color and price. First I owned a POS Jet 9x20 which was EXACTLY the same machine as the Grizzly, Enco, HF and a number of other brands, I know from "hands-on" experience with both the Jet and HF that they are indeed the very same. I paid nearly twice as much for the Jet as the HF machine cost because everybody said HF machines were just rejects and complete junk, that may be so but the Jet was junk also! There was not any difference between the two in quality or anything else except color and price and I am finding that the same is apparently true for the larger 14x40 machines. I have the HF 14x40 and have access to an Enco 14x40, they are the same stinkin thing!! The Enco cost a heck of a lot more than the HF but after a year around both machines I KNOW that one is no better than the other which was exactly the same experience I had with the little 9x20, this time however I didn't fall for the "name" and saved a bunch of money. :D I posted links to pics of the HF 14x40, the Enco 14x40 and the Birmingham YCL14x40 and outwardly they all appear to be exactly the same, I have only gotten to look at the Birmingham without running it but I am sure the parts are interchangeable with my HF and maybe I am wrong but they damn sure don't look to be any better quality. Some may argue that Grizzly or Enco has a lot better service than HF and that may be true but HF does offer parts replacement and the thousands a person will save by buying form them will sure ease the frustration of lesser service if it is required. Others have told me that HF machines are just rejects that other companies turn away but I have seen no evidence of that and the people who told me were talking only from hear-say or opinion and had no proof of any kind. I joined a Yahoo group of HF lathe owners and those guys convinced me to buy from HF, it did not take much convincing after the Jet 9x20 fiasco! These guys are owners of these machines and they too are convinced that the HF lathes are the same as some other more expensive brands, are we wrong about that? Maybe but then maybe not and after over a year of searching for a good used "name brand" lathe and researching the ChiCom selections I honestly see no reason to spend the extra money for a supposedly better name if a person is going to buy Chinese. Certainly a good used American or European machine is going to be a lot better but if buying Chinese don't expect a brand name to be synonymous with quality, you could very well be paying a lot more money for a catchy paint job. I have been running my HF 14x40 for over a year now and I couldn't be happier with it.:)

Kibby
04-27-2010, 07:37 PM
Let's assume that the Grizzly lathes are just adequate then. So who makes a really good lathe now?

CLARKMAG
04-27-2010, 10:27 PM
In 2009 I sold my 1967 Clausing 12x36 5914 and I bought a Precision Mathews 12x36 lathe with foot brake for $3K delivered in Oct 2009 with the $1k DRO additional.

The only thing wrong was on the bottom of the steady rest.
It is the exact same type of steady rest as on my brother's 10 year old Jet 13x40 lathe.

The customer service at Quality Machine Tools is excellent.

I think I could have got better change gears with J levers for less money from Harbor Freight.

My brother is a super machinist and everything he makes is ultra precision and looks like jewelry. He hates foreign stuff, but says his Jet has never let him down.
Everything I make is inaccurate and sloppy.
If we traded lathes, out outputs would not change.

Having paid for 5 lathes in 10 years for amateur gunsmithing, I don't like Chinese lathes, but do not see any economical way around it.

Old American lathes that are worn out an never were as functional as the Chinese lathes is not the fast path to building accurate rifles, even if it is more aesthetic.

Kibby
04-28-2010, 05:55 AM
Old American lathes that are worn out and never were as functional as the Chinese lathes is not the fast path to building accurate rifles, even if it is more aesthetic.

This describes our dilemma in a nutshell. I am beginning to draw the conclusion that buying a Chinese lathe from a reputable reseller is the best we can get then. :(

This gives me a great idea to start a business buying lathe components from China, and building quality lathes here in the US, reworking the components into usable assemblies. Offer the public chinese machinery that is already reworked and ready to roll.

MuellerNick
04-28-2010, 06:22 AM
reworking the components into usable assemblies.

That won't work!
You would need so many machines (horizontal borer, bed grinder, ...) and it would involve so much work (bring the headstock's bearing seats into alignment and get the required surface roughness; completely re-bore the saddle's axes; mill off conventional bearing surfaces and coat with Moglice; ...) that you could also start making a new one out of good material.

As soon as you start to improve them, you'll be faced with two new problems after fixing one. Almost no part is properly aligned.


Nick

CLARKMAG
04-28-2010, 09:57 AM
..
This gives me a great idea to start a business buying lathe components from China, and building quality lathes here in the US, reworking the components into usable assemblies. Offer the public chinese machinery that is already reworked and ready to roll.


They can sell a 2000 pound Chinese lathe delivered to my residential door for $3k.
It costs all most that much to SHIP a 2000 pound lathe won on Ebay.

If anything does not work, I have called Grizzly about a bad lathe part and I have called Precision Matthews Quality Machine Tools about a bad lathe part.
They ship a replacement part for free... pronto.

Duffy
04-28-2010, 03:35 PM
I believe that Blue Ridge Machinery is an agent for Emco. A 13V will be pricey, but they are nice! Standard Modern is Canadian-made. I just talked to them, and a 13x40 is $15,400.00, and they confirmed that everything is indeed made in Canada. I suspect that that is not VERY different from an Emco 13V. Duffy

Rustystud
05-03-2010, 12:15 PM
I don't have one of the gunsmith models. I have a 13 x 40 tool room model. It was made in Taiwan not mainland China. I have replaced the 3hp single phase motor with a NEMA metric 5.5 hp 3 phase motor and a Westinghouse FM 215 VFD. I would not go back to a worn out piece of American Iron. This lathe will cut to .0005". I cuts great threads and chambers well with a high presure flush system.

Nat Lambeth

Richard-TX
05-30-2010, 02:43 PM
I have replaced the 3hp single phase motor with a NEMA metric 5.5 hp 3 phase motor and a Westinghouse FM 215 VFD. I would not go back to a worn out piece of American Iron. This lathe will cut to .0005".
Nat Lambeth

That is exactly my assessment and experience as well. The upgrade to 3 phase and a VFD is so significant, that I would never go back to a single phase powered lathe.

Put another way, look at the current Southbend lathes and see which models are equipped with a VFD. If I recall correctly, there is only one lathe out of 8 models that is not VFD equipped.

While the China lathes are not perfect, they are certainly infinitely better than a worn out and mistreated lathe no matter who made it.

Sure there are faults, but if you think that a $3000 lathe is going to have the same precision, fit, and finish as a $30,000 lathe, I believe your expectations are unrealistic.

Can you hold .0005 on an import lathe fresh out of the box? Not likely. If you spend a some time with the lathe, it certainly can hold .0005 or better.

If there is anything I learned about buying a used lathe, it is that an ignorant owner can cause 10 years of wear in one by simply using the wrong way lubricant and having the ways too tight. When I think about the level of stiction that I experienced when I first got the lathe, I cringe. Turning to within .001 was a challenge. Once I got the ways set right and the correct lube applied, all of that grief and nonsense disappeared.

There are a great many people that own imports and are satisfied with them. I believe they are happy because they have reasonable expectations of the lathe.

As far as I am concerned, there is nothing more miserable than trying to hold any sort of precision on a worn out lathe. The list of things to remember to compensate for that wear is more than I can bear.

rws
05-30-2010, 04:29 PM
My first lathe was a Nova Tool from MSC, 13x40. I'm sure it was a Chinese lathe. I had to do several things to gete it where it worked for barrel work, but it wasn't impossible, just adjustments. The owner now is still doing his own barrel work with it. He did have some trouble with the motor,but it's fixed.

I now have a 14x40 Acer VFD machine. It's Taiwan made, and is better quality.

I agree, that buying a new good import will serve you better than a worn used lathe.

Kibby
06-05-2010, 09:47 AM
The upgrade to 3 phase and a VFD is so significant, that I would never go back to a single phase powered lathe.

May I ask why its so good? I feel somewhat ignorant about VFDs. Okay, okay... A LOT ignorant, haha! Is the power smoother or something? Please school me a little? :confused:

rws
06-05-2010, 10:00 AM
Kibby,

There are several things that make a VFD great. One of the first is that you can drive a 3 phase motor off of 220 volt house power, and it makes it all work. Then there is the infinite variable speed control. No need to shut off to change speeds, just dial it down. My lathe has two speed ranges, so it's not like a zero to 3000 RPM thing. But within the speed ranges, it is fully adjustable.

Lastly, they aren't real expensive. I would say with confidence( I hope), you could put a VFD on a machine cheaper than you could put a phase converter on.

Kibby
06-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Thanks, RWS. Those are the reasons I suspected, but wasn't sure Richard-TX's tone took me by surprise a little, and caused me to doubt myself - doubt what I thought I knew about VFDs. I have often thought of building a massive 2x72 belt grinder using a 3hp/3phase motor, and and a VFD to give me total speed control without the need for the expense of a DC motor and DC controller.

moe1942
06-05-2010, 01:43 PM
I have a G4003 and it has been great. Super accurate and no problems. My neighbor bought the gunsmith version at the same time. Except for a little difference in the tailstock and spindle cam locks they are identical.

Kibby
06-05-2010, 03:16 PM
I have a G4003 and it has been great. Super accurate and no problems. My neighbor bought the gunsmith version at the same time. Except for a little difference in the tailstock and spindle cam locks they are identical.

Do you think those features are worth the extra price?

38_Cal
06-05-2010, 03:27 PM
I believe that another difference is that the gunsmith lathe series has a factory built-in spider on the outboard end of the spindle to support a barrel being threaded/chambered or crowned.

David

radkins
06-05-2010, 03:50 PM
The most important difference is that larger spindle bore!

demerrill
06-06-2010, 10:55 AM
With regard to the G4003G 12 x 36 'Gunsmith Lathe':

Grizzly specified NSK or Timken (instead of Chinese) spindle bearings (grade not stated). The G4003G comes with a heavy cast iron (instead of sheet steel) pedestals. Also roller bearings on steady and follower rests and integral outboard support and centering spider for barrel blanks mounted through the headstock.

The Chinese 12 x 36 lathes have shorter headstocks compared to some older lathes, allowing shorter blanks to be chambered in the 4-jaw chuck as opposed to the steady rest.

The larger spindle bore and associated bearings led to the minor inconvenience of requiring a larger D1-5 chuck mount which is in less widespread use, but readily available, compared to the D1-4 used on the G4003 12 x 36 lathe. No factory taper attachment or 5-C collet attachment is offered, in common with most/all of the Chinese sourced 12 x 36 lathes.

David Merrill

moe1942
06-06-2010, 11:46 AM
Do you think those features are worth the extra price?


No. And neither does my neighbor after comparing his to mine.

moe1942
06-06-2010, 11:51 AM
I believe that another difference is that the gunsmith lathe series has a factory built-in spider on the outboard end of the spindle to support a barrel being threaded/chambered or crowned.

David


Just a tad longer spindle with four drilled and tapped holes. I can make one much better that screws into the existing spindle threads.

moe1942
06-06-2010, 12:04 PM
With regard to the G4003G 12 x 36 'Gunsmith Lathe':

Grizzly specified NSK or Timken (instead of Chinese) spindle bearings (grade not stated). The G4003G comes with a heavy cast iron (instead of sheet steel) pedestals. Also roller bearings on steady and follower rests and integral outboard support and centering spider for barrel blanks mounted through the headstock.

The Chinese 12 x 36 lathes have shorter headstocks compared to some older lathes, allowing shorter blanks to be chambered in the 4-jaw chuck as opposed to the steady rest.

The larger spindle bore and associated bearings led to the minor inconvenience of requiring a larger D1-5 chuck mount which is in less widespread use, but readily available, compared to the D1-4 used on the G4003 12 x 36 lathe. No factory taper attachment or 5-C collet attachment is offered, in common with most/all of the Chinese sourced 12 x 36 lathes.

David Merrill


The spindle bore on the 4003G is the same as my g4003. My neighbor and I both have the 5C collets. I made my closer using two parts from the Grizzly collet closer made for both machines. Total cost was under $60. As far as the pedestal it is not nearly as good as my homemade bench. 2X4's on edge bolted together with all thread. I have all the lower part of the bench for storage.

In regard to the spindle bearings, as long as I have negligible run out my bearings are up to the task. Before I made a close comparison I was thinking I should have gotten the GS model. Afterwards I am glad I saved my money.

My comments are just my opinion and not meant to influence any purchase. You never know. I could be wrong...:)

DannyH
07-16-2010, 09:19 PM
Truth is, all of the Chicoms are pretty much the same.You can pay more for marketing if you want.Its the good machinist that can produce good work.Sub-par machinist will produce pitiful work on the best machines,You follow all these sites and you will see as many problems with Grizzly as Harbor freight.At least H.F will cost you 35% less.I have had one for 5 years and it will turn .0001 to .0003 on a 10" bar.That is plenty good for barrel work

REED2
06-21-2011, 04:48 PM
I have bought 2 machines from China direct first a Rong Fu 45 gear head square column clone, with rotary table dividing head, DRO and many other accessories, it cost me $3200.00 delivered to my door, it is an excellent machine + works well and is great as far as the tolerances and accuracy, the only thing was i had to pay for it 100% up front. The second is a 14X40 gap bed lathe from TIMEWAY Machine, I dealt with a young lady there (JENELLE) she was excellent, lathe DRO taper attachment and all other options cost me $3200.00 shipped to my door and this time only had to pay 1/2 with last being due before shipping, lathe is made to order and won't be ready to ship for 2 months. Interesting the southbend lathe that is most comparable to mine is made in Taiwan and sells for $18,000.00 without taper attachment etc. Only taxes on arrival to Canada are our GST at 5%. What do you think is the best deal. i will be getting rid of my Logan with taper at
tachment and R8 collett setup and a bunch of tooling. tom

ironnut
06-22-2011, 03:18 PM
I just got my new G4003G operational last weekend. I did some quick checks on headstock alignment and the run-out on the 3 jaw chuck, and both looked good, .0015 on the chuck and half a thousandths in 10 inches. I was using a piece of 1 inch round bar from a linear bearing. I think the bar is pretty round and straight though I have never verified those qualities.

I took a fairly decent cut on some 1 inch hot rolled. Got a nice finish, certainly didn't expect that on nasty old hot rolled. The lathe seems solid and quite functional. While not part of the lathe, I was impressed by the shipping container as it was pretty deluxe and there was no shipping damage noted or discovered to this point.

Some of the lathe's details seem on the simple almost "homemade" look, like a hex head screw where you would have expected a socket head screw. After I did the prescribe run-in exercises, I drained the gearbox oil. There were some metallic flakes present, but nothing like some folks in other forums have observed in there imported lathes. The 2 hp motor seems to have plenty of power, and it doesn't appear to be excessively noisy, though I don't have a good reference as my old lathe was belt driven.

I would have loved to have a Hardinge, LeBlond, Monarch, etc. but I already have a Bridgeport project. Besides here in Idaho, those kinds of machines are fairly rare birds and shipping would be a significant fraction of the Grizzly's purchase price.

As I begin to use it I will post my findings.

Rasch Chronicles
08-03-2011, 12:14 AM
Fellows,

I sure am glad to have had the opportunity to see this thread. I plan on picking up a lathe when I get back home, and I was torn between getting a used American iron, and getting asian made.

The options for used American iron aren't all that good, most of the time they are worn and need a complete overhaul. There are some opportunities to get them at gov't auctions, but you really do need to know what you're about, and I certainly don't. And by the time you have rebuilt your lathe, you probably could have bought another one with the money you've spent.

I predominantly buy American. I support and buy from small American buisnesses and craftsmen. It is a shame that we can't produce an economical machine that is accurate and well built.

I've been out here in A'stan for a couple of years now. The majority of my staff is eastern European and Asian. Their cost of living is miniscule compared to ours. Their production costs are 1/10th of ours. One of my workers told me of working for a ship grave yard. The long and the short of it was that one or two people died weekly there, and it was considered part of the buisness. In America we could never get away with that. The lawyers and OSHA would see to it never happening. But them Indians can take a ship from floating to bits and pieces to the foundry in a week's time. It would take us months, if not years! How can we compete?

As much as it grieves me, I will have to get a HF or Griz. Unless I find a Southbend in a garage that has never been used, I am destined to own a lathe made elsewhere.

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles (http://trochronicles.blogspot.com)
Wild Pigs: Not Tough Enough to Face Ol' King Coal (http://trochronicles.blogspot.com/2008/03/wild-pigs-not-tough-enough-to-face-ol.html)

38_Cal
08-03-2011, 11:42 AM
Hey, Albertus, welcome to the insanity! One thing you'll find with most affordable old American lathes is that the spindle hole is going to be small, and the lathe bed will be a bit on the short side, which will give you problems with longrifle barrels...besides having to rebuild many of them. :D

David

radkins
08-03-2011, 05:51 PM
When I bought my HF 14x40 three years ago there was a huge price difference between it and the Enco version of the same machine I had set out to buy, the Enco was $3695 plus delivery charges but with a 20% off coupon I got the same machine for a little over $2750 delivered from HF to the local store for pick up. That does not seem to be the case now however and HF's prices are about the same as Enco anymore, maybe a hundred bucks difference at most, plus they have not only dis-allowed the coupon on the lathes but no more free to the store delivery so IMO HF has lost their advantage. With HF's lack of after sale service I can't see buying from them anymore even if the machines are the same, you might save a $100 or so but why give up customer service for a small amount like that?

flutedchamber
08-22-2011, 12:30 AM
I looked into the large Grizzly gunsmith lathe a few years back. The fit was OK and the finish was typical of Chinese manufacture. To put it plainly, the lathe was OK.

A backorder problem developed and I got my money back. I bought a 1760E Nardini lathe used for less money. It's larger, longer, heavier with more speeds and a larger spindle bore. The steady and follow rests aren't even in the same universe as far as quality. The ways on my lathe are hardened...a file won't touch them. My bed is almost 1/3 wider and much heavier than the Grizzly.

I had to replace the way wipers because they were worn, and one relay ($39 plus shipping). Two speed motor, 7.5 and 8 horsepower.

Holding .0005 is no problem, nor is taking a eighth of an inch of metal off in one pass.

The money I saved helped my buy my used Bridgeport.

rbertalotto
08-26-2011, 01:16 PM
I was down in PA at a big BMW Motorcycle Rally (BloomsburgPA), and I took a ride over to Grizzly to check out all the neat "toys".

I was super impressed with the Grizzly gunsmith lathe they had on the floor. I was surprised how loose my 25 year old Jet 1236BD felt compared to a new lathe.

The headstock is just the right length to allow "through the headstock chambering and threading" and everything seemed to be the perfect size for gunsmithing.

When I move, I'm going to sell all my equipment and buy new..........I don't think you could go wrong with this lathe.

(PS....I have a Grizzly milling machine that I've had for over 10 years. Still a great machine with zero issues)

adatesman
08-26-2011, 02:01 PM
I was down in PA at a big BMW Motorcycle Rally (BloomsburgPA), and I took a ride over to Grizzly to check out all the neat "toys".

Oh no. I really, really wish you hadn't said that, as I always assumed Grizzly was far, far away from me and therefore only good for online-window shopping. Their Muncy warehouse is a day trip from me, and no good can come of that. :eek: :mad: ;) :)

deltaenterprizes
08-26-2011, 04:41 PM
(PS....I have a Grizzly milling machine that I've had for over 10 years. Still a great machine with zero issues)

The quill lock on mine is a piece of garbage metal and they made the lever hollow instead of solid. It might have cost $.01 more to do it better.

P.A.R.
09-23-2011, 12:37 PM
I'm a working gunsmith and have owned my G4000G for two years. I had to tweak it in but you always have to do that its been great if I wear it out its paid for its self. If you want the best that Asia offers Acer is the one made in Ti.

flutedchamber
09-23-2011, 05:35 PM
The quill lock on mine is a piece of garbage metal and they made the lever hollow instead of solid. It might have cost $.01 more to do it better.

The quality of Asian machinery from ten..or more years ago is far better in almost all instances than it is today. Look at the Jet lathes from back then..and then take a look at the newer ones.:eek:

As you stated, the quill lock handle was hollow and it gave way. Other handles and control levers are just a 'bit' small for their intended use, and that is especially evident with the handwheels. These may be fine for an occasional use for a short period of time, but after an hour or so the insufficiencies become an annoyance.

Today people fall all over themselves for a 20 year old South Bend lathe. Do you think that people will fall all over themselves for a 20 year old Grizzly lathe?

RADcustom
09-25-2011, 01:47 AM
Do you think that people will fall all over themselves for a 20 year old Grizzly lathe?

I doubt it but, I bet they still fall all over themselves for the 40 year old South Bends. :D

flutedchamber
09-25-2011, 10:12 AM
I doubt it but, I bet they still fall all over themselves for the 40 year old South Bends. :D

Without a doubt...and I will probably be one of them. But...NOT THE SOUTH BEND that Grizzly bought the name of and put on their machines.

I went to Grizzly in PA and was looking at their South Bend lathes (my neighbor wanted to buy a belt sander and I went along for the ride). The salesman comes up and is telling me the long history of South Bend products and how great they are...and that these are the 'new' models of the "old outdated" South Bend lathes.

I told the salesman that if John or Miles O'Brien ever learned what had become of their good name and reputation they would roll over in their graves. The salesman suddenly had to be somewhere else.

I can't say all..but this salesman was trying to push these Asian lathes with the South Bend name as the genuine South Bend lathes of long ago. I wonder how many people he fooled?

flutedchamber
09-25-2011, 10:15 AM
I'm a working gunsmith and have owned my G4000G for two years. I had to tweak it in but you always have to do that its been great if I wear it out its paid for its self. If you want the best that Asia offers Acer is the one made in Ti.

I have never known of an American/British/German/Brazilian lathe that one could wear out unless it was worked 24/7 and the upkeep wasn't done on it. Those lathes were made to last..not be a disposable item after so many years.

djbutler
12-26-2011, 11:26 AM
Hi Guys,
I just got my first lathe, a new G4003G.
I find the same as other owners, the gearbox is full of metal flakes. The ways are nicely finished, the carriage rides smoothly on the ways.
I did all the break-in runs and cleaned up all the shipping coating, then had a disaster, crashed the carriage into the tail end of the bed while driven by the threading lead screw.
The damage so far looks like one shaft in the gearbox is sheared, along with the "F" gear on the end. So far I haven't been able to get the broken shaft out of the gearbox because the 45/40 tooth gear on the inside of the gearbox won't slide off the shaft.

Any ideas on the best way to take this apart?

Don

djbutler
01-07-2012, 10:34 AM
Well, there doesn't seem to be much activity on this forum.

Not having seen any reply, I tried some more to get this thing apart and finally managed to drift the shaft out, with the bearing housing still on it. The gear inside the box came loose, key stayed in the gear and I got it lifted out the the gearbox. I called Grizzly and ordered up replacement parts for the shaft, outer key, new bearings to replace the one that felt rough and the 40T gear.

The parts arrived this week and I got them put in. Everything went together smoothly, I got the inside of the gearbox cleaned out good and put in fresh oil.

It loooks like the crash damage was limited to the one shaft and gear, the weakest parts in the whole power train to the lead screw.

I think I'll fab up some sheet metal cams mounted to the headstock and the tailstock end of the lathe bed to cam the operating lever for the forward/reverse switch into the off position when the apron gets close to either end of travel, to act as a mechanical fail safe and prevent another crash.

Don

ironnut
01-07-2012, 03:36 PM
Too bad about your crash. But it sounds like the fix was not too bad. That is good information e.g. Grizzly had the parts, and you are now back up and running.

So far I like my G4000G. I have not any real issues to complain about. The run-out and repeatability of the 3 jaw chuck has been a very nice surprise. The large bore, > 1 1/2" though the head stock, is a nice feature. I have made numerous parts with it and any problems were with the operator and not with the lathe. Of course I would have liked a Hardinge tool room lathe like they used have at my place of work back in the 1980s. But lacking the $20,000 to buy such a thing and living in a machine tool desert here in southwest Idaho, the $3000 delivered to my door option seemed the way to go.

One thing I intend to do is to add a separate variable speed controlled motor to drive the carriage feed. I have such an arrangement on my Atlas lathe and really miss that feature on the G4000G lathe. It does not appear that it will be too difficult to add that option and not disturb/destroy the original set-up.

I recently got a new copy of the Grizzly catalog and I find it some what amusing that the ad copy for some machines has bold red letters about being made in Taiwan and not China. The G4000G is apparently still made in China. I have heard that the G4000G is currently on back order. When I ordered mine in March of 2011 it too was back ordered. It was not to ship for another month or so, but it showed up early, in about 2 weeks, before I had gotten the Atlas moved. One other note is the price on the web and in the new catalog, is lower than the price in the ad in the latest copy of Home Shop Machinist.

For those that are looking to add a new lathe to their shop, so far the G4000G is not a "POS" in my book. Its fit and finish is adequate, certainly nothing like the Hardinge tool room lathe but not in the junk category. The core aspect of the machine is quite acceptable, it does what I expect in a lathe.

I would have much preferred to have not spent money on a tool of Communist China origin, but those reasons are more political and personal in nature. If one lives in a part of the country where used domestic machines are available and you are knowledgeable and able to find one with serviceable life remaining at an acceptable price, then by all means buy it. For me, an amateur home shop machinist living in a backwater for machine tooling, the import route seems the only fiscally possible alternative to having reasonable lathe capabilities in my home shop.

gordon