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View Full Version : Need advise. Older Sheldon or new Grizzly for Gunsmithing



hvydg
09-11-2014, 07:25 PM
Hi everyone. I need some of you experts advise. I need a lathe for doing Gunsmithing work. Mainly barrel and action work. Later on Supressors ( and yes I have my manufacturing licenses lol) I found a older Sheldon 10x24 with no tooling for $1800. Not many lathes in my area. Might could get it for $1500. Would you go with the Sheldon or a new Grizzly. Any info is greatly appreciated.

JCHannum
09-11-2014, 08:25 PM
Sheldon made two different 10" lathes. One was a lighter duty with a 1-3/4"-8 spindle, the other a heavier machine with a 2-1/4"-8 spindle and 5C capability. The first is the L series, the second the XL series.

Both are very capable machines and would be well suited for gunsmithing, but the XL is the better of the two, being a more substantial machine with 1-3/8" spindle bore. The Sheldon machines are belt drive, which some feel give a better finish than a gearhead such as the Grizzly.

The choice is yours, assuming the Sheldon is in good condition, it is an excellent lathe.

mikem
09-11-2014, 08:52 PM
The accessories that come with it make a big difference! My South Bend was bare and by the time I got collets, chucks and etc. the cost doubled. The new ones usually have both chucks, power feed and quick change gears for threading etc. Good luck!

Ebay has lots of tooling if you do find that you need more than what it came with.

hvydg
09-11-2014, 08:56 PM
Sheldon made two different 10" lathes. One was a lighter duty with a 1-3/4"-8 spindle, the other a heavier machine with a 2-1/4"-8 spindle and 5C capability. The first is the L series, the second the XL series.

Both are very capable machines and would be well suited for gunsmithing, but the XL is the better of the two, being a more substantial machine with 1-3/8" spindle bore. The Sheldon machines are belt drive, which some feel give a better finish than a gearhead such as the Grizzly.

The choice is yours, assuming the Sheldon is in good condition, it is an excellent lathe.

Thank you for the info. It has the 1 3/8" spindle bore. He actually has two. They both came out of a school. Haven't had a chance to really check them out. He has to move several machine just to get them out. I had to climb over several monarch EE to get to them lol. Just don't want to make the wrong decision.

hvydg
09-11-2014, 09:01 PM
The accessories that come with it make a big difference! My South Bend was bare and by the time I got collets, chucks and etc. the cost doubled. The new ones usually have both chucks, power feed and quick change gears for threading etc. Good luck!

Ebay has lots of tooling if you do find that you need more than what it came with.

Yea. It doesn't come with any tooling. I just don't want to over pay. It only has a 3 jaw chuck. I need a 4. I'm assuming that would be a easy find? I know the parts are few and far between.

Toolguy
09-11-2014, 09:40 PM
You didn't say what Grizzly, but a 10 x 24 will be a bit cramped for doing rifle barrels. Normally for 5C you need at least a 1-1/2 spindle bore. The main drawback is the length. A 36" or 40" bed will make it easier to deal with rifle barrels. Of course you can do them on a smaller machine, but this is the point where you can make life more fun. This is all just one person's opinion, but I've worked on a few in the past.
I think something in the 12 x 36 to 14 x 40 size range is about ideal for gunsmithing work.

Don Young
09-11-2014, 09:48 PM
If you will need to do metric threading, be aware that metric threading gears for the Sheldon tend to be somewhat rare and costly.

hvydg
09-11-2014, 10:27 PM
You didn't say what Grizzly, but a 10 x 24 will be a bit cramped for doing rifle barrels. Normally for 5C you need at least a 1-1/2 spindle bore. The main drawback is the length. A 36" or 40" bed will make it easier to deal with rifle barrels. Of course you can do them on a smaller machine, but this is the point where you can make life more fun. This is all just one person's opinion, but I've worked on a few in the past.

I'm going to go back tomorrow and try to get some numbers off of them both. He said they are 10x24. After some thought the bed sure did look to be a lot longer.

JCHannum
09-12-2014, 08:24 AM
The 10L Sheldons came with bed lengths of 38", 46" and 56" resulting in 18", 26" and 36" between center distances. I would suspect the 10X24 would refer to a 26" center distance. Some of that will be taken up by the chuck, but still is adequate for most barrel work. The Sheldon is about 17" through the headstock which allows chambering and barrel threading to be done through the headstock.

KJ1I
09-12-2014, 08:36 AM
I have to second Toolguy's comment. 10 x 24 is a bit short for gunsmithing work -- depending on what you are working. I do non- or semi- professional gunsmithing, now almost exclusively on AR platforms, so my 10 x 24 if fine. But for working on Rem700 / Win70's you have to do some tricky mounting. The barrel + action won't fit between centers.

hvydg
09-12-2014, 10:44 AM
The 10L Sheldons came with bed lengths of 38", 46" and 56" resulting in 18", 26" and 36" between center distances. I would suspect the 10X24 would refer to a 26" center distance. Some of that will be taken up by the chuck, but still is adequate for most barrel work. The Sheldon is about 17" through the headstock which allows chambering and barrel threading to be done through the headstock.

I actually liked the shorter headstock for what I will be doing. I had my heart set on one if the EE machines. I know they are great but the headstock was just to long for what I'm wanting to do. Plus he was over priced on them in my opinion for the shape they were in.

flylo
09-12-2014, 11:01 AM
IMHO I'd look at more lathes. I think there is a better used lathe for the work your doing with much more tooling out there. Better to search harder than dump a bunch of $ into not the right lathe. Even if you have to pay shipping as you will have to on the grizzly.

planeman
09-12-2014, 11:24 AM
I don't want to hijack this thread, but what is the difference between a "gun smith's lathe" and a regular lathe? For years I have been curious.

Planeman

Doozer
09-12-2014, 11:48 AM
Nothing.
It's just that everybody wants to feel special.
--Doozer

Old Hat
09-12-2014, 12:01 PM
Nothing.
It's just that everybody wants to feel special.
--Doozer

Not Everybody Doozer............
Some of us want to feel, Exceptional.:o

flylo
09-12-2014, 12:34 PM
Feel exceptional if that blows your skirt up, but me I'd rather BE exceptional:p
As for a gunsmith lathe I'd consider one at least 14x40, 1-3/8"+ thru hole, metric & sae threading with a brake, 5C collets, center & steady rests, 3 & 4 jaw chucks & faceplate.


Not Everybody Doozer............
Some of us want to feel, Exceptional.:o

JCHannum
09-12-2014, 12:37 PM
Lathes are lathes and for years, gunsmiths have been using what was available for their work. Some features such as swing and bed length offer an advantage over others for the work, but there has never been a specific class of lathe just for gunsmithing. Recently, Grizzly has offered what they call gunsmith lathes which differ little from their other machines of the same series but have an upsized price.

As far as the choice between the Sheldon and a Grizzly, much depends on the condition of the Sheldon and the Grizzly being considered. $1500 is on the high end for a 10" Sheldon in this area, but if it is in excellent condition is not excessive. You describe the Sheldon as "older" which covers a lot of ground. The last models featured a double lever quick change gear and lever operated carriage feed engagement. It was the same machine as the 13" described below with a 10" swing. This is the best Sheldon, earlier models would be worth less.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/sheldon/page4.html

hvydg
09-12-2014, 12:53 PM
Lathes are lathes and for years, gunsmiths have been using what was available for their work. Some features such as swing and bed length offer an advantage over others for the work, but there has never been a specific class of lathe just for gunsmithing. Recently, Grizzly has offered what they call gunsmith lathes which differ little from their other machines of the same series but have an upsized price.

As far as the choice between the Sheldon and a Grizzly, much depends on the condition of the Sheldon and the Grizzly being considered. $1500 is on the high end for a 10" Sheldon in this area, but if it is in excellent condition is not excessive. You describe the Sheldon as "older" which covers a lot of ground. The last models featured a double lever quick change gear and lever operated carriage feed engagement. It was the same machine as the 13" described below with a 10" swing. This is the best Sheldon, earlier models would be worth less.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/sheldon/page4.html

It's the later lathe with two levers on quick change box and it does have power cross feed.

Doozer
09-12-2014, 02:37 PM
I also love it when dentists have a "Dental Lathe", when really
it is a Baldor motor with buffing wheels attached.
Boggles the mind.

-Doozer

MetalMunger
09-12-2014, 03:16 PM
If you can find one of very top choices would be an EMCO Maximat Super 11CD.
http://www.lathes.co.uk/emco/page6.html

HWooldridge
09-12-2014, 03:48 PM
Hi everyone. I need some of you experts advise. I need a lathe for doing Gunsmithing work. Mainly barrel and action work. Later on Supressors ( and yes I have my manufacturing licenses lol) I found a older Sheldon 10x24 with no tooling for $1800. Not many lathes in my area. Might could get it for $1500. Would you go with the Sheldon or a new Grizzly. Any info is greatly appreciated.

My first lathe was the same Sheldon model you are looking at. I bought it from my cousin, who is a gunsmith and builds target rifles - the spindle hole was too small for most of his barrel work so he built a tailstock extension to thread between centers. He later sold it to me to buy a medium sized South Bend with a larger spindle hole. I kept the machine for about 20 years and upgraded to a 12x36 Jet (and I also picked up a Clausing 15x48). I do very little gunsmithing but I think you may not be satisfied with the smaller Sheldon for barrel work unless you stick to slimmer profiles.

usnfc
09-12-2014, 04:18 PM
I also love it when dentists have a "Dental Lathe", when really
it is a Baldor motor with buffing wheels attached.
Boggles the mind.

-Doozer

They want to feel exceptional too! There's also the watchmakers lathe.

I think for gunsmithing (which I do a little, not a lot) my 13X40 Andes gearhead taiwanese lathe does a fine job. From what I've heard from others, the grizzly is a good lathe, but better than that is their customer service. I buy most of my stuff locally, so I don't have any experience with them though. I guess, in reply to your question, if I had to choose between the two, I would opt for the Grizzly in a larger size. Remember you can either pay now, or pay later...I'd just invest a little more up front.

JCHannum
09-12-2014, 04:29 PM
The 10L Sheldon is 1-3/8" through the spindle, MT#5 and 5C compatable, the same as most lathes in the 12"-13" range. I have a 13" Sheldon, which has the same headstock, just a higher profile and do quite a bit of barrel work on it, almost all done through the headstock.

hvydg
09-12-2014, 04:39 PM
I knew the bed was longer than what he said. The tag reads EXL 46-P. Also realized it comes with the 5c collet adapter. I wanted to pull a tape out but didn't because he thinks it's a 10x24.

http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/hvydg/CACF1423-96DB-44A9-BC71-6A80239B2AF2.jpg (http://s1117.photobucket.com/user/hvydg/media/CACF1423-96DB-44A9-BC71-6A80239B2AF2.jpg.html)

usnfc
09-12-2014, 04:52 PM
Out of curiosity, I did a little internet surfing and found this website that might give you some more info. I know Sheldon's are a good lathe and the price doesn't seem too bad to me, but I will concede to someone with personal experience to advise you.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/sheldon/

Doozer
09-12-2014, 04:54 PM
I guess gun people like to put their barrels fit through the spindle
and use a 4 jaw chuck on the geartrain side, some rig up 4 set screws
for centering. Basically doing what oilfield lathes typically do, with dual
4 jaw chucks for centering pipe in the spindle. It saves on bed length
where as one could do the same thing with a steady rest, and maybe
a cathead if they have an octagon barrel or something.
I am not sure what chambering is, but I see them get a barrel all centered
up in the lathe, and use a reamer. It all seems like standard metalworking
stuff to me. Again, everybody wants to feel special.
For the variety of stiff I do, I think a 1550 or a 1660 lathe with 3" through
the spindle is a good size. Anything less seems to always require a work
around to make stuff fit. I might even do a driveshaft on it if I use the
steady. Maybe could swing a rim to put in a new pattern if I had a gap
to take out, or perhaps a 16" rim would clear the ways, dunno.
Of course a smaller lathe is nice for higher speed work and not to wear
your arm out cranking a large carriage. But get one with 5C capability.
Collets are so handy, you won't know it till you have them. And changing
parts while the lathe is still running just really speeds things up.
But gun work to me just seems like standard turning and milling.
Now gun drilling might need an extra long lathe with high pressure coolant,
but that is an entirely different machine for the most part.

--Doozer

JCHannum
09-12-2014, 05:24 PM
EXL-46P is the pedestal base lathe with the standard E drive, four speeds direct plus back gear for 8 spindle speeds total. There was an optional 16 speed E drive available. 60 pitch QC gearbox. Probably a 1-1/2HP motor, mine is 3 phase which can be a big plus when using a VFD, especially if threading to a shoulder such as a barrel tenon. 1260# shipping weight.

Camlock and LOO spindles were available as options, 2-3/4"-8 was standard.

hvydg
09-12-2014, 05:37 PM
EXL-46P is the pedestal base lathe with the standard E drive, four speeds direct plus back gear for 8 spindle speeds total. There was an optional 16 speed E drive available. 60 pitch QC gearbox. Probably a 1-1/2HP motor, mine is 3 phase which can be a big plus when using a VFD, especially if threading to a shoulder such as a barrel tenon. 1260# shipping weight.

Camlock and LOO spindles were available as options, 2-3/4"-8 was standard.

This one is 3 phase also. What does the camlock spindle look like?

JCHannum
09-12-2014, 07:22 PM
The camlock spindle has square sockets behind the lathe chuck to attach the chuck.

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii1/Tex-VA/D1-41.jpg

hvydg
09-12-2014, 10:02 PM
The camlock spindle has square sockets behind the lathe chuck to attach the chuck.

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii1/Tex-VA/D1-41.jpg

Thanks for the pic. It's not a camlock.

hvydg
09-12-2014, 10:04 PM
Both lathes come out of a school. Have you guys ever bought any school lathes? Are they usually worn out?

flylo
09-13-2014, 12:08 AM
I like to buy school tools. Most are not worn out but you still need to check them close for any issues.

Old Hat
09-13-2014, 02:31 AM
I don't want to hijack this thread, but what is the difference between a "gun smith's lathe" and a regular lathe? For years I have been curious.

Planeman


Plenty!;)
http://www.cityofart.net/bship/coventry_gunshop.jpg

alanganes
09-13-2014, 07:17 AM
One of the local used machine dealers I used to deal with always said of school machines that "students don't wear machines out, they break them!"

Which sort of made sense to me. Machines from school shops won't tend to be subjected to the two-shifts-per-day sort of use that something in a production setting might, but they do suffer repeatedly at the hands of people who know little of their proper use.

I bought my vertical mill from a high school shop and that was pretty much what I found. Though mine had been there so long that it had a bit of wear as well. It's done just fine for me anyhow. One of my lathes (my first) was used for a state adult vocational re-training program. I bought a matched pair, both were broken (a stripped gear on one, damaged motor on the other, etc.) aggregated the parts to make one good machine and then used that to help make/fix parts for the other one which I sold for about 75% of what I spent on the pair. Worked out well.

Buying new machines is such fun. Wish had more space. Well, maybe better that I don't...

DR
09-13-2014, 11:12 AM
FWIW......Sheldon's came in many flavors.

I had a 10" with a D1-3 spindle nose, 4-1/2 MT. 1-1/16" spindle bore. About 30" between centers. This was way, way back in the day when Sheldon was still in business, they claimed they never made such a machine!!! It was a special for the Air Force or Navy.

QSIMDO
09-13-2014, 12:31 PM
I'm trying to answer the same question only between a Harrison 250, a 300 or Grizzly 4003G.
The Harrison's are about 2/3 the price and I know all parts are still available but the idea of "clean up, set up and run" is just so appealing.

justanengineer
09-13-2014, 01:01 PM
One of the local used machine dealers I used to deal with always said of school machines that "students don't wear machines out, they break them!"


Yup, and IME then the school usually paid decent bucks to fix them. My current Clausing lathe came out of a high school. At some point in the distant past someone ran the compound into the chuck, so they bought brandy new 3 and 4 jaw Burnerds. The small missing corner of the compound hasnt been missed, but the new chucks certainly made the deal on the machine well worth it.

JMO, but I LOVE school machines. Usually theyre used much less, more gently with light cuts instead of deep production cuts, and are lubed and cleaned more regularly (usually beginning/end of each class) compared to manual production machines. The only downside Ive found is that they occasionally share space with woodworking machines and the associated sawdust, so you might have some cleaning to do internally.

gundog
09-13-2014, 03:28 PM
If it were me unless the Sheldon is very tight I would buy the Grizzly. I would want there larger machine. If my memory serves me right they do have something special on the tail stock for locking it down to torque it so you get the same alignment when switching for chambering. The imports like mine a Jet can change a little depending on how tight you tighten the tail stock I think on the Grizzly gunsmith they have a hex nut you can torque of coarse you could rig the same thing up on the others but it comes that way. They also usually have a little larger spindle bore for the size lathe compared to their other offerings.

Mike

bob308
09-13-2014, 03:29 PM
i will say for gunsmithing work the hole in the head stock is of less importance then then the bed length. i will do more barrel work on a 9" southbend with the 4 1/2' bed. then you will with a lathe with a large through hole and a short bed.

gundog
09-13-2014, 05:01 PM
i will say for gunsmithing work the hole in the head stock is of less importance then then the bed length. i will do more barrel work on a 9" southbend with the 4 1/2' bed. then you will with a lathe with a large through hole and a short bed.

That depends on the barrels you are working on and what you are doing. Large target barrels are nice through the head stock on a bigger machine your .750" through hole limits you to any of that and forces you to working between centers or with a steady. If you are doing your own work that is one thing setup time is not that important but if you trying to make a buck not the preferred method IMHO.

JCHannum
09-13-2014, 05:19 PM
There are two schools of thought when it comes to chamber reaming, through the headstock or between centers. I offer no opinion as to which is best, but a good gunsmith seems to produce good results regardless of the method used. A floating reamer will negate minor misalignment when reaming chambers, making the need for torquing the tailstock questionable.

I have a 56" bed Sheldon I got from a school after 25 years of use. It had some minor damage and a couple of the QCGB gears needed to be replaced. Other than that, it has served me well for about 15 years. While I have 36" between centers, I do all barrel work except profiling through the headstock.

George Bulliss
09-13-2014, 06:36 PM
Both lathes come out of a school. Have you guys ever bought any school lathes? Are they usually worn out?

I have a 13" mid-60s Sheldon that spent most its life in a school. It does have some wear and things are not as tight as a new lathe, but nothing that affects the accuracy. It's a great machine and is far more accurate than what most my projects need.

Students may crash things but, as mentioned, they get repaired. Plus, a school shop usually has a regular maintenance/oiling schedule and students must clean the machine after every session. Much better than picking up a machine from a job shop.

No regrets on my Sheldon and it's one item that won't be sold off. The kids will have to deal with that detail.

J Tiers
09-13-2014, 09:05 PM
There are two schools of thought when it comes to chamber reaming, through the headstock or between centers.

How would you do chamber reaming between centers? ;)

I have to assume you mean with a steady. :cool:

hvydg
09-13-2014, 10:41 PM
I know I'm wearing you guys out with all the questions. Lol. Like is said all I will ever do is build rifles and suppressors. Just found this tida 12x36. It's only a couple hours from me. $1000 will get it. You guys think it's worth that and is a fairly decent machine?
http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/hvydg/79E3F41B-61BE-4EE4-B72B-D52D998CC4A7.jpg (http://s1117.photobucket.com/user/hvydg/media/79E3F41B-61BE-4EE4-B72B-D52D998CC4A7.jpg.html)

JCHannum
09-13-2014, 10:59 PM
How would you do chamber reaming between centers? ;)

I have to assume you mean with a steady. :cool:

It is referrred to as chambering between centers to differentiate from through the headstock. It is initially set up between centers to machine the barrel tennon and thread it. It is then setup with the steady to chamber to maintain concentricity.

gundog
09-14-2014, 11:21 AM
I know I'm wearing you guys out with all the questions. Lol. Like is said all I will ever do is build rifles and suppressors. Just found this tida 12x36. It's only a couple hours from me. $1000 will get it. You guys think it's worth that and is a fairly decent machine?
http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/hvydg/79E3F41B-61BE-4EE4-B72B-D52D998CC4A7.jpg (http://s1117.photobucket.com/user/hvydg/media/79E3F41B-61BE-4EE4-B72B-D52D998CC4A7.jpg.html)

It looks like my Jet but I don't see the threading dial halfnut. Condition is everything but for a grand seems like a good deal if it is not worn out and abused. If I was going to do gunsmithing I would buy a better lathe but I have a good friend who does great work on a similar lathe from Enco. I would like a big heavy machine weighing about 3 times what these imports weigh mine included. They get the job done but a nice big heavy machine in good shape cut so smooth. You would need to spend more money to get a machine like I am talking about. I am holding off replacing my import for a Haas TL1 or 2 to gain the CNC capability.

gundog
09-14-2014, 11:25 AM
I don't know what part of Mississippi you are in but I like this one if it is in good shape. http://memphis.craigslist.org/tls/4604955813.html

hvydg
09-14-2014, 12:33 PM
I don't know what part of Mississippi you are in but I like this one if it is in good shape. http://memphis.craigslist.org/tls/4604955813.html

I actually have that lathe saved in my favorites. Was going to call them Monday. It said it came with numerous tooling. Just didn't know about the quality of the lathe. Are they considered to be good lathes? I'm just nervous! Lol. I bought a import about 4 years ago. I didn't know, worn out was a under statement! Just don't want to go down that road again but at the same time would like to keep my budget around $3000.

gundog
09-14-2014, 01:37 PM
I have no experience with them so I don't know but I have heard they are nice but no longer made so parts maybe tough to find if you needed to fix something. It looks much heavier than the import. Condition means everything and you won't know that until you look at it.

Mike

LKeithR
09-14-2014, 03:09 PM
The camlock spindle has square sockets behind the lathe chuck to attach the chuck.

Just to clarify, the camlocks actually mount on round pins; the square sockets are used to tighten the assembly after the chuck is mounted. I realize that most people here will know this but the statement could be confusing to someone who didn't know...

JCHannum
09-14-2014, 04:25 PM
I can't speak to the import lathe other than to say it appears to be older, and was possibly made in Taiwan.

The larger Rockwell lathes are excellent machines, suitable for heavy use. They are all gearhead machines and the one on Craig's list appears to be well equipped, including a taper atachment. It does seem to be missing a toolpost however but the rest of the tooling more than offsets that. Assuming that it is in good condition, that is a good price for a machine of that class with the included tooling.

The only minor downside of the Rockwell machines is that they have a vari-speed pulley system which is subject to the usual wear and eventual need for repair or replacement. It would not be too difficult to replace in its entirety with a VFD.

More info here;

http://www.lathes.co.uk/delta%20metal/page3.html

hvydg
09-14-2014, 07:07 PM
Am I a idiot! For some reason I keep going back to this dust covered turd!! Lol.
http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/hvydg/0567AFC6-43E5-4807-BB2F-E227975AEDC9.jpg (http://s1117.photobucket.com/user/hvydg/media/0567AFC6-43E5-4807-BB2F-E227975AEDC9.jpg.html)

Black_Moons
09-14-2014, 07:20 PM
I know I'm wearing you guys out with all the questions. Lol. Like is said all I will ever do is build rifles and suppressors. Just found this tida 12x36. It's only a couple hours from me. $1000 will get it. You guys think it's worth that and is a fairly decent machine?

Looks very good to me. enclose QCGB, D3(?) camlock spindle, separate feedscrew and leadscrew. $1000 is a good deal IMO, especially if the way look good and all the gears work (You'll have to manually move the spindle over by pushing on the chuck to switch between gears as its straight cut transmission, do NOT shift under power)

JCHannum
09-14-2014, 08:10 PM
It might surprise you after clean up. It does not have a tailstock however.

Assuming both lathes are in comparable good condition, by the time you tool up the Sheldon to the level of the Rockwell, you will have spent close to the same $3000 as if you had bought the Rockwell.

hvydg
09-14-2014, 08:24 PM
It might surprise you after clean up. It does not have a tailstock however.

Assuming both lathes are in comparable good condition, by the time you tool up the Sheldon to the level of the Rockwell, you will have spent close to the same $3000 as if you had bought the Rockwell.

I have thought about that. It does have the tail stock. But doesn't have the steady rest like I thought or a tool post. Plus I will have to get a 4 jaw chuck also.I don't know what to do! Probably would be better off just buying one fully tooled.

hvydg
09-15-2014, 03:02 PM
Ok I talked with the guy that has the 14x42 delta Rockwell. I got him down to $2500. It's does come with the tool post,collets,3 and 4 jaw chucks,taper attachment,steady,and so on. It's 3 phase an all I have is single phase. What's the best route? Change the motor to a single phase? Or a VFD? I have heard a lot people throwing out The word VFD but I don't have a clue what it actually does or how it works.

hvydg
09-16-2014, 09:15 AM
Ok guys. I found this not far from me. It was bought in 2010. Is $2500 a decent price?
http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/hvydg/2014-09/490CE0DD-3B81-493E-9D2D-583F65114375.jpg (http://s1117.photobucket.com/user/hvydg/media/2014-09/490CE0DD-3B81-493E-9D2D-583F65114375.jpg.html)

Toolguy
09-16-2014, 09:37 AM
That is a killer price for that one. Those are $3250 new. That one is pretty close to new as machine tools go. It will do everything you want. The 14 x 42 Rockwell would be a good one too, but it will cost another $500 +or - for a VFD to run it. Either way, you would be able to do what you want to.

justanengineer
09-16-2014, 10:30 AM
JMO, but that Grizzly is the Yugo of the machine tool world - many have/had them and nobody will admit how terrible they are until they buy something decent. I've helped several folks replace spindle bearings, its a known issue (among others) from the factory. Another is the cheap Chinese cast bed, there's almost no carbon in it so extended heavy use will wear it out sooner than later. JMO as well, but theyre also seriously lacking when it comes to speed control like most low-end imports, "backgear" is ~100 rpm IIRC.

OTOH, that Delta Rockwell is a gem if its in good shape. Its got flame-hardened ways, taper attachment, looks like a long-nose spindle, and a decent amount of tooling. Its 3 phase, but with a Reeves drive (think snowmobile, "infinitely" variable) which is the best of both worlds. A 3 phase motor gives you a minutely smoother cut, is instantly reversible, and less maintenance than single phase. The Reeves drive allows you to minutely adjust speed to give the best finish while cutting, and allows you to keep full torque. Once youve used one you wont want anything else. If its noisy, its either worn bushings or buggered splines, IME usually bushings and well worth an easy repair. CAUTION: DO NOT CRANK THE REEVES SPEED ADJUSTMENT WITHOUT THE MOTOR SPINNING.

VFD = variable frequency drive. Black box theory = its a lil electronic doo-dad that controls the motor. You can buy them in all manner of phases and voltages, most here use either 110 or 220V single phase power input, 220V 3 phase out to power machines. They also allow you to vary the frequency (normally 60 Hz in the US) of the generated current, and since motor speed varies with frequency, you can electronically control the motor speed up/down. You can also use them to operate an E-stop (aka, big red mushroom switch), or a jog (half speed) switch. Unfortunately, you also lose a bit of torque in the process of changing speed via the frequency, so on my Reeves equipped lathe I only use the VFD for 1-3 phase conversion and E-stop, using the Reeves for speed adjustment. If youre not an electric/electronics wiz no worries, believe it or not theyre not overly difficult to install and program and theyre not too terrible price-wise. Many folks including myself use the Teco FM50 (rebadged 50x over by others) series, theyre usually ~$100-150.

hvydg
09-16-2014, 10:50 AM
Man y'all got me confused! Lol. Some say they are decent lathes then other think they are junk! By the way I got him down now to $2200!!

George Bulliss
09-16-2014, 11:31 AM
Just go and buy it. The Delta lathe is a nice one but having something closer is a major plus. The Grizzly should do all you need and if not, just sell it. For that price you won't lose anything.

BTW, there are a lot of eyes on this board. Hesitate too long and you may find someone else has swooped in and grabbed it.

JCHannum
09-16-2014, 11:33 AM
I would rate the Rockwell as the best lathe, assuming it is in good condition. The Grizzly would come in a close second again assuming good condition and will probably provide the most bang for the buck. They are not bad machines from all reports and if the deal includes all the original tooling, it will have the basics of what you will need. The lowest spindle speed is 70 RPM, which is still a bit fast for threading to a shoulder, but there are ways to overcome that, as simple as a manual crank on the spindle.

If it were my choice, I would get the Grizzly.

ironnut
09-16-2014, 05:02 PM
The used Grizzly looks pretty clean. I have pretty much the same model, a year or so newer. I like mine just fine. I am not a gunsmith, never did any gunsmithing, mostly I make pins and parts for my ancient tractor(s) and accessories. I seem to end up building a lot of tools to fix stuff along with an occasion model steam engine, stirling engine. I bought the lathe because of the size through the headstock, a bit more than 1 1/2"; its physical size, it fits in my small shop area where the previous lathe sat; it wasn't a budget buster for me; and used American iron in my locale is pretty much non-existent. I have not seen any signs of bed wear to date. I am strictly an amateur, weekend machinist, so the total hours on it are not that great. It does get fired up nearly every weekend for some project. Grizzly advertised that the spindle bearings are upgraded from the standard Chinese fare. Not sure exactly what that entails, but it suggests a higher quality bearing. I was pleasantly surprised by the 3 jaw chuck it came with, typically on a 3/4, 1 inch cold rolled shaft the run-out in the 3 jaw chuck is a around .001" or less. I know that it is not a promised spec but maybe that machine works similarly. Assuming it doesn't have an obvious problem(s) I would buy it. Certainly if had presented itself back when I was shopping/buying new from Grizzly, I would have grabbed it.

gordon

my grizzly lathe
http://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l515/FEnut/840334e1-585d-4f9d-acad-9623866b57da_zps78d1dc9d.jpg?t=1410902089

hvydg
09-16-2014, 09:17 PM
Well I committed to the grizzly.

CarlByrns
09-16-2014, 09:54 PM
Well I committed to the grizzly.

Excellent choice. I wish I had the shop space for one that size.