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Seeking advice on Grizzly lathe

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  • Seeking advice on Grizzly lathe

    Hello out there, I am new to this forum and hope this is posted in the correct place.

    I have the opportunity to purchase an almost new Grizzly model G4003 lathe at a very reasonable price and would appreciate any input I could get from those who may have had some experience "fine-tuning" or just in using these machines.

    The machine is the right size for the type of work i'll be doing (gunsmithing) but I've noticed a few problems with it. First, there seems to be a problem with the start-up of the motor - it's very sluggish in starting , but after you get it turning it runs fine. Could this be the capacitor on the side of the motor? Second, the tail stock was a pain to get centered - any thoughts on improving this somewhat rough set-up?

    Also, is there an easy way to mount a collet system on this spindle/ lathe?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

  • #2

    Don't have that Griz lathe, but it is a common import, somebody else here should have some good info and links for you.

    I think that lathe is gear driven, so the "spin up" may/or may not be "normal". If the motor is "bad", I would just look for a quality (Made in USA, if you live in the States), and do a replacement. The import motors are often more trouble than they are worth.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."


    • #3
      I dont have a G4003, but it's pretty common for those import motors to go bad, just replace it with a US name brand. Regarding the collet system, the cheapest way would be to make a handwheel collet closer (the main parts are just a handwheel, drawtube, and collet adapter); the most expensive route would be to buy a lever type collet closer for your lathe from Grizzly, assuming it is available as an option.


      • #4
        I've got a G4003. Had the same motor problem after about 10 min of run time. It was new and under warranty so Griz sent a new motor PDQ. Turns out it was the start contactors (not capacitors), which they also replaced in short order. After a little research on the Yahoo 12x36 group, I found that this is a common problem. My prob was the motor starting getting sluggish and after a fiddlin with it, poof, all it would do is buzz. No problems since and I've chewed up a good bit stock. Sometimes I turn stuff down or practice threading just to watch the stock get smaller and chips fly off.

        The only other small problem is a minor apron leak, which I haven't fixed yet.

        My tailstock only required a minor tweak to get centered so can't help there.

        You can buy a quick-release collet closer for this lathe from Griz, costs between $300-400, don't remember exact. I did a little design searchin and decided to make my own. Ordered some DOM tubing for $20. Going to order the 5C-MT adapter from Griz for around $40, then off to the races. I'm out of town for the summer. When I get back end of July this is 1st on the to-do list.

        I was a total newbie when I got the lathe. In my opion it was perfect for me, no regrets. I didn't have to spend a lot of valuble shop time refurbishing something I didn't know a thing about. Now after several months I think I've made great progress on the learning curve. By the way, cutting threads was one of the first things I did. A few hours and mistakes later and now it's relatively easy (and fun). For the money I'm pleased with what I got. It ain't old American iron, but so what, it accomplishes my goal and that's to learn and make chips as a hobby.

        Cadwiz, from La


        • #5
          Grizz 4003

          I bought this lathe about 4 years ago. I had a motor problem after 16 months but Grizzly replaced it free, no futher problems with it. They do sell a lever type collet closer for it, it was 299.00 when I bought mine. I have owned a Atlas 6-18, a Atlas 10-36 and a 7-12 Mircomark lathe. I think the grizzly wins hands down. It is solid, no "cut off fright" in fact I cut off under power feed! My Atlas 10 inch could never do that. Now would a american made lathe of like size and weight be better? Sure, just try to find one! (well at least under 25,000.00)

          I also have other Grizzly equipment I use without problems, the 4x6 swivel head band saw and a buffer to name two.

          Just my 2 cents worth.
          Paul in NE Ohio


          • #6
            A collet closer for the G4003 is available from Grizzly for $300.

            Part# G4026




            • #7
              Many thanks to all of you for your replies - they were very helpful.