I have the Jet version of that lathe and it works ok as a starter lathe, but you will most likely quickly outgrow it and become annoyed by its limitations.
Some of the issues with it you should be aware of:
1. The lathe works as delivered, but several modifications will need to be made to make the lathe more usable. You can see some of these mods here www.bedair.org
2. Does not have powered crossfeed. If you do a lot of facing, you will come to hate this
3. Lowest speed at 130 rpm is quite fast. You will need quick reflexes to thread with this lathe.
4. Spindle is threaded instead of using a camlock nose, some like this, many don't. A threaded spindle cannot be run in reverse for those times you might want to mount a tool on the rear of the cross slide.
If you buy this lathe, go in planning on upgrading in the near future. That lathe is going out the door for something bigger with better features as soon as I find a new job. If this lathe is all you can afford, then I would say go and get it and start having fun, but go in with your eyes open.
That's right. I hadn't figured on any discounts.
Originally Posted by radkins
Let me add to the problems with the Jet, not only does it not have power cross feed but the feed was very rough and required constant fussing (and cussing! ) to keep it smooth enough to feed by hand, I made an extension handle that could be attached to that tiny wheel when facing. Just as with several other items on that machine there are upgrades to fix this problem but it should not be a problem in the first place. Even with the handle attached there was still a problem with the screw binding from chips which was also a problem with the main feed screw, better keep a supply of those plastic gears on hand. Also you should keep a couple of spare belts (more like rubber bands) because these too fail quite often or at least I had a problem but I did push the machine to it's limits which is VERY easy to do. I suppose that for very small parts this machine is usable and maybe I expected too much from it but if that is the case then too much is not a lot at all!
BTW, When I got to use the HF version of that lathe I discovered that not only were they the EXACT same thing but the extra money (nearly twice as much!) for the Jet did NOT mean better quality, it was not any better at all, but the HF lathe came with a splash guard and a live center that was not included with the Jet even though it was $400 more, don't know if the Griz has these or not. Not too long after buying the Jet a rather good sized chunk of "bondo" fell out of the tail stock, so much for the better quality of the Jet!
Originally Posted by gnm109
When the girl at the counter rang up my lathe I just handed her the 20% off coupon and she deducted a whopping $639.80, it was as simple as that!
BTW, what part of a knife do make with a lathe?
I've got the Grizzly 11X26 and all I can say is thank God I have access to the Takisawa at work.
Nothing more frustrating then to take just a tad too much cut and the thing stops dead, or to learn threading with 120 + rpm (I HAVE gotten right snappy though) or the lousy feeds or the limited capacity, or, or....
But it's all I could afford at the time and it has done some pretty decent projects so it was good to start on.
I'd say especially since you really do have to get in and make improvements.
You do learn a lot about turning and the realtionships of components.
You also learn the bare-ass minimum of metal you can assemble and still call it a lathe too!
several folks have asked ' whatcha gonna do with it ? ' and the truth is, I don't have a clue - I just love tools and a metal-working lathe is one that I don't have. For less than $1,000 the griz looked like a pretty good deal. It has some accessories that the HF machine doesn't - 7.5" 4-jaw chuck, steady and follow rest, MT#2 live center, faceplate, free shipping. Last year I had just about decided on a Lathemaster 8 x 14" Mini Lathe. But, at $870 plus shipping, this griz for $925 with free shipping looked like a better deal.
Originally Posted by sidneyt
Eagon Leather & Knives
Originally Posted by TexasKnifeMaker
Better take another look at the HF machine, it does have those accessories-all of them. Not sure what delivery costs would be for the HF unit but they will of course deliver free to a store for pick up there. I am sitting here looking at that lathe in the Griz catalog right now and there is no doubt at all this is the same exact machine as the HF/Jet/Enco, etc. With the usual 20% discount coupon from HF that's $559 vs $925 and the difference is the color and the price.
[EDIT] I just looked up the HF lathe on their site and for whatever reason they do not have a 4 jaw chuck listed anymore. I know the one my buddy bought, the one I used, had a 7" 4 jaw with it and the ones I looked at in the store (when they still had them in the stores) had these 4 jaw chucks included. It was about 5 years ago when he bought his and the last one I saw in the store was about three years ago so maybe they don't include those chucks now. They do however have the rest of the items listed but that chuck was the only thing of any real value. Maybe they dropped it to cut costs and maintain prices instead of increasing the price, it is the same or even cheaper now than it was 5 years ago.
Last edited by radkins; 07-13-2009 at 11:53 PM.
Yes, the Griz is a green HF 9x20. I have an HF model, got it in 2006 during a perfect storm of sale plus 20% coupon - out the Irving store door with TX sales tax for $519. Never mind the 500 mile round trip to fetch it. That's a trip to the store in Tx anyway
Note: the 20% coupon fine print says OFFER GOOD FOR IN STOCK MERCHANDISE ONLY. [EDIT - see corrected info in post below [/EDIT] So you have to find a store that actually has one. You cannot order one with the coupon. Big city stores might have them - maybe. I didn't ask about back stock, but a recent trip through three Fort Worth area stores yielded zero 9x20s and zero mill-drills. The Abilene store used to have all that plus a 12x36 - now all are special order. If you trade with one a lot, you might get a deal from the manager. I did not make it to the Irving store on the lastest visit to the area - it's a big one that seems to have a lot of stuff in it.
Also note that the "7 1/2 chuck with reversing jaws" is a face plate. That little beast might die if you hung a real 7 1/2" chuck on it.
It's a good little lathe - I'm just an amateur, but I like having it. Had I known then how useful it would be, I would have just gone for the 12x36.
All the usability issues listed are valid - fixes are out there and each one makes it a little better. Join the Yahoo group and dig through the files - everything you need to know is in there, probably every question you'd have has been asked and knowledgeable options/answers posted in response so searches turn up plenty of info.
Last edited by Falcon67; 07-14-2009 at 11:58 AM.
Originally Posted by Falcon67
Not so, I ordered my 14x40 from the "special order" book at the store. They will not accept the discount coupon for regular catalog orders but that special items book at the store is the same as "in stock merchandise". When I ordered my lathe I just paid for it at the check-out just like buying anything else from the store, handed the girl my discount coupon, she deducted the difference, handed me the receipt and told me it would be delivered (to the store) in 7 to 10 days. I know several others who have done the same thing at different stores in different states. The manager told me that they started doing this to save floor space and decided instead of having these large items on the floor they would just have the description and picture and would just ship them in from the warehouse when a customer bought one.