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View Full Version : Need advice re new lathe purchase



cuemaker
12-29-2004, 03:19 PM
I soon will be buying a new 12 x 36 lathe.

My choices are the Grizzly G4003 which many of you have and this lathe

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=92086&item=3814819546

Are they essentially the same lathe? Is there another choice for about the same money?


The Birmingham lathe on Ebay actually comes from a company based in Columbus Ohio and I am about 30mins from them. I see some savings on shipping there.

Also the company in Columbus has a decent price on a Bison 6jaw chuch which I will be purchasing also. I figure maybe get a deal since I am spending some serious money. Nice thing about internet though is no sales tax.

Any helpfull suggestions?

Thank you all, I enjoy reading all your posts and learning new things.


Rob

cuemaker
12-29-2004, 03:48 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=25292&item=3848192037

This is the 6 jaw chuck

Spin Doctor
12-29-2004, 06:16 PM
Its come up before

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/Forum3/HTML/001797.html

Look to be made from the same basic pattern. I would want to know if they are made in the same facility

cuemaker
12-29-2004, 07:45 PM
ty Spin!

That thread didnt do much though. Does anybody know of any quality issues with the Birmingham???

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-30-2004, 11:58 AM
I would not buy your 12x36" Lathe from Grizzly.

Just say "No to Grizzly".

-3Ph

cuemaker
12-30-2004, 12:05 PM
and why is that??

Any lathe you particularly like for a 12 x36? (for about the same money)

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-30-2004, 12:20 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by cuemaker:
and why is that??

Any lathe you particularly like for a 12 x36? (for about the same money)</font>

Because of the Grizzly customer dis-service. If you have a problem, and need something replaced -- don't be surprised if Grizzly wants you to send back the entire Lathe at your expense instead of just sending you a small 10 oz part.

The Birmingham looks great and if you can get one locally then I think your choice should be an easy one.

-3Ph

JCHannum
12-30-2004, 12:26 PM
There are several lathes that are the same machine, but badged differently. I do not know about Grizzly vs. Birmingham, but it is quite possible.

Compare all specs, dimensions, speeds, threads and feeds, and if they are the same, they are probably the same machine.

Quality can vary between greatly between machines even from the same manufacturer, so it is an advantage to be able to inspect a machine before purchase. Low price import machines can be a crap shoot, and after purchase service can make a difference in the deal you get. how long has the Birmingham dealer been in business and what kind of reputation does he have. Ask for customers. Grizzly will put in touch with purchasers in the area if requested.

Grizzly does have a good reputation for service, but working with a local dealer has benefits too. If you are in Ohio, buying from an Ohio dealer,or pick up the machine in person, you will probably still have to pay sales tax.

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-30-2004, 12:35 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JCHannum:
There are several lathes that are the same machine, but badged differently. I do not know about Grizzly vs. Birmingham, but it is quite possible.

Compare all specs, dimensions, speeds, threads and feeds, and if they are the same, they are probably the same machine.

Quality can vary between greatly between machines even from the same manufacturer, so it is an advantage to be able to inspect a machine before purchase. Low price import machines can be a crap shoot, and after purchase service can make a difference in the deal you get. how long has the Birmingham dealer been in business and what kind of reputation does he have. Ask for customers. Grizzly will put in touch with purchasers in the area if requested.

Grizzly does have a good reputation for service, but working with a local dealer has benefits too. If you are in Ohio, buying from an Ohio dealer,or pick up the machine in person, you will probably still have to pay sales tax. </font>

Yes, you could ask Grizzly to speak with one of their selected customers, or you could listen to one of their non-selected customers like myself http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

-3Ph

cuemaker
12-30-2004, 01:27 PM
well crap. Called the dealer and he wasnt so stonge on product knowledge. I asked if I needed some help with the purchase would he be able to help and he said not really, he isnt much of a machinist.

So now Ive got to compare price with shipping cost and the items that come with the lathe. The birmingham does come with a floorstand which is nice.

I am very handy with wood, would building a wood bench be a silly concept do you think?? To much chance for vibration?

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-30-2004, 01:38 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by cuemaker:
well crap. Called the dealer and he wasnt so stonge on product knowledge. I asked if I needed some help with the purchase would he be able to help and he said not really, he isnt much of a machinist.

So now Ive got to compare price with shipping cost and the items that come with the lathe. The birmingham does come with a floorstand which is nice.

I am very handy with wood, would building a wood bench be a silly concept do you think?? To much chance for vibration?</font>


Hey, at least the dealer was honest upfront.

As long as you don't use pool cue's for table legs, you should be fine http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

-3Ph

cuemaker
12-30-2004, 01:46 PM
The grizzly does come with a quick change tool post and a 4 piece insert toolholder set.

Is the quick change any good? Are the centers and tail chuck any good? I was told by a friend that the centers and the tail chuck where junk. But if they are servicable..........

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-30-2004, 01:53 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by cuemaker:
The grizzly does come with a quick change tool post and a 4 piece insert toolholder set.

Is the quick change any good? Are the centers and tail chuck any good? I was told by a friend that the centers and the tail chuck where junk. But if they are servicable..........</font>


The Grizzly comes with lots of extra junk. Look at the G4003 closely and you'll notice it probably comes with more extra junk than any other Lathe they sell. The extra junk is there to help compensate for the Lathe itself. The higher end models don't come with extra junk.

-3Ph

JCHannum
12-30-2004, 02:42 PM
3PH, Grizzly does have a good rep for customer service. Recently a contributer to the BBS had a part custom fabricated and shipped to him because the mill drill he purchased had conflicting dimensions in their literature. This indicates they are willing to go the extra mile.

It would be interesting to hear an account of your experience.

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-30-2004, 03:19 PM
I was going to list all the problems I've had with Grizzly customer service (Relative to other vendors) but then I realized it doesn't matter because all I care about is not giving them any more of my business.

-3Ph

Doc Nickel
12-30-2004, 03:27 PM
Actually, the 12X36 includes the most 'extra junk" (really just the toolpost and bits) because it's their most popular home-shop size lathe.

And to somewhat counter 3Ph's poor experience, I've purchased two Grizzly machines and been happy with both.

I first picked up one of their 9X20" lathes about five years ago. Only problem I had was the motor pulley kept coming loose, which twisted up and eventually ruined the little vee-belt.

I called up Griz, and the lady was more than happy to send me a new belt, no charge. I ordered two more at the same time, just in case, and the "free" one paid the shipping on the other two, which I thought was nice.

Although once I fixed the pulley (the setscrew didn't hold well) I never had that problem again, never needing any of the other replacement belts 'til I sold the Griz just this year.

I also recently bought their G4027 vertical mill, and I'm quite happy with it. Can't say how Griz' customer service is on it, since I haven't had a single problem with it.

I've been toying with the idea of getting another lathe- my two Logans are more than adequate, but I'd like to have a camlok chuck rather than threaded, and maybe a bit more brute size for rigidity on some things.

If you have any qualms about a Griz lathe, see if they can tell you whether a particular model was made in China or Taiwan. Of the imports, the Taiwanese ones are of somewhat better quality. (My mill is Taiwanese, and appears well made.)

Doc.