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grizzleys new lathe

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  • grizzleys new lathe

    hello again i was wondering if the gunsmith lathe by grizzley is any different than the other 13 x 40 lathes or if it is just a sales gimmick?it lokks pretty beefy but i dont for sure what would make it a gunsmiths lathe(other than if you happen to be a gunsmith!) anyway looks like a nice machine.

  • #2
    It`s just a name most of all of them are about the same maybe a few minor differances .Looked at about 6 or 8 different brands a while back only majou differance was color and the control handles and knobs. Its pettery much just what suits your fancy and pocket book. pocket book mostley.
    Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


    • #3
      They are offering two, one is a 12"x36" benchtop, the other a 16"x40" floor model. The smaller lathe might have some merit, but I see little need for a 16" lathe for gunsmithing.

      They claim higher precision bearings and have added a built in spider on the outboard end of the spindle to support barrels for chambering. The spindle bores will accomodate most barrels.

      They have also added a torque gizmo for tightening the tailstock. It adds leverage to the locking handle and apparently gives a readout for torque applied. The idea seems to be more uniform positioning of the tailstock for chamber reaming, but I fail to see the value of it. If I were to spend money to ensure an accurate job of chamber reaming, it would be on the purchase of a floating reamer holder.

      Aside from the spider, I can see little to recommend them specifically for gunsmithing. The "improvements" seem to point out the shortcomings of their standard machines, ie, sliding tailstocks and inaccurate headstock bearings.
      Jim H.


      • #4
        I went up to the Muncy the last week of DEC 06. I did not see any of the new machines from the 2007 catalog on display. So I can't give you the "what I think after I kicked the tires" type info. In the 2007 Griz catalog there seemed to be a little bit of "gun smithing" type stuff added. Look out, Brownells!

        I think JCHannum called it, larger spindle bore, the outboard spider, and the tailstock. The smaller machine specs look "alot different" from other "same size" lathes listed in the Griz catalog, but the larger lathe specs "seem" to be almost identical to their G0509 lathe.

        I think that maybe it is more "marketing and advert placement" than "gunsmithing" rather than the other way around.
        Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."


        • #5
          I have been looking at the smaller Gunsmith lathe. From what I can see the machine is based on the model G4003 but they added a G to the end of the model number. The spindle bore is larger at 1 5/8" pretty big for a lathe in that class. I emailed them to see if they had a collet closer for this model and they do not at this time. I would like to look at one of these in person before buying though and I would have to see if Royal makes a collet set up to fit it. My next lathe will be fitted with a collet closer and DRO. I have not given up hope for a clausing but I may get tired of looking for a good one with the larger spindle bore.


          • #6
            I'd prefer to see it without the gap bed. I've never liked gap beds in small machinery, too much rigidity sacrificed without (in my view) enough gain in utility to warrant it.


            • #7
              Marketing people rule the world in spite of being some of the biggest dingbats.....

              The things that differentiate this from the regular G4003 seem pretty trivial to me. Making a headstock spider is a simple project. The roller steady rest is nice, but an easy project for a home shop person. Most full profile benchrest barrels go 1.25" as I recall, so I don't get the value of the larger spindle bore for this purpose.

              I *really* don't understand the use of the torque wrench on the tailstock. "Absolute and precise alignment" doesn't come from the use of a torque wrench...and it certainly doesn't come with a cheap live center like they show in their picture. I have a live center I got used with colored rings that show just how much tension you have put on the center. The center itself is spring loaded and compresses. Short of having that, why would you want to force a center into the work with more force than you could apply with a shorter lever? Get carried away and you could bow a long workpiece like a barrel . I would think that without cnc, you would not be cutting a barrel taper externally would buy pre-contoured. While you are chambering or crowning, the barrel is not mounted between centers anyway--that's where you use the headstock spider.

              I work at a university and the Manufacturing Engineering department is two floors down from me. They have a couple of the 4003's and they really do seem to be a pretty good lathe for the money. It's hard for me to look at any Chinese lathe and think that would be the first choice of a gunsmith looking to do really precise work, but they may be completely adequate for most purposes. I own a 13x40 Chicom lathe and hope to do my own barrel work someday.

              As for the collet closer, I would never let that be a deciding factor. As was recently hashed in a previous thread, the lever closers are a pain for intermittent use. A handwheel/drawtube type seems like a good home shop project and can be made for any lathe. This type removes completely when not in use and does not prevent easy access to the headstock gear train cover like the lever type does.

              Paul Carpenter
              Mapleton, IL


              • #8
                For an additional several hundred dollars, you get a slightly upgraded lathe over the standard offering. It might have some advantages if you do not already have a lathe for gunsmithing, but I would not be in a big hurry to replace existing machines.

                I would recommend taking a hard look at how the additional spindle bore was achieved. Unless the headstock and bearings are larger on these machines, it is at the cost of reducing the spindle strength.
                Jim H.


                • #9
                  Just went back and did a comparison and discovered that the "gunsmith" lathe is 320 pounds heavier than the standard lathe, a big check in the plus column in my book.


                  • #10
                    sorry posted to the wrong thread
                    Last edited by dan s; 01-17-2007, 11:13 PM.
                    -Dan S.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by x39
                      Just went back and did a comparison and discovered that the "gunsmith" lathe is 320 pounds heavier than the standard lathe, a big check in the plus column in my book.
                      The 12" gunsmith lathe includes the stand and splash guard which is probably a significant portion of the shipping weight differences. The added crating materials involved contribute as well.

                      The basic dimensions of the bed and lathe specifications are the same for both machines, so any additional weight is not where it will add any substantive mass to the lathe.
                      Jim H.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JCHannum
                        , so any additional weight is not where it will add any substantive mass to the lathe.
                        That figures. Like going for second base and winding up with a handful of tissues.


                        • #13
                          The idea of using the torque wrench is to assure that you're locking the tailstock in place with the same amount of torque each time you lock it down in preparation to run the reamer back into the barrel. Tailstock height can vary a bit when locked down with varying amounts of force - read up on Greg Tannel's advice on setting up a lathe for chambering for more detail.

                          Notice that their ad copy claims the tailstock height will be within .001" of the spindle bore center as delivered - that's a plus when reaming a chamber, floating reamer holder or no, and I can't think of any other situation when close tolerence in this area would be anything but good.

                          I don't know why they decided to go with a 16" swing on a gunsmith's lathe - seems considerably bigger than necessary; I suppose it could be related to the large spindle bore. Speaking of the spindle - for those of us who prefer to chamber in the headstock, both these lathes seem to have a spindle length short enough to work with barrels of moderate length, where my Jet GH1340W-1's spindle is so long that 25" is about the minimum length I can do in the headstock. I noted that the 16" machine's net weight is over 3000lbs., while my Jet weighs 2080lbs. - I feel that's enough extra weight to make some difference. I also like the roller tips on the rests - beats having to re-indicate as the bronze tips wear during a job.

                          Overall, I got a twinge of satisfaction in seeing a company willing to offer machines with at least a few features gunsmiths should appreciate. The story I got is that the owner of the company is an avid F-class long range shooter, and it was his interest in shooting that brought about the cataloging of these two lathes. If I ever get close to the Grizzly showroom in Springfield, Mo., I plan to swing by to see if they've got these machines on the floor
                          Last edited by flatlander; 01-18-2007, 09:03 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JCHannum
                            The basic dimensions of the bed and lathe specifications are the same for both machines, so any additional weight is not where it will add any substantive mass to the lathe.
                            The various distributors are notoriously bad about the shipping weight estimates. The gross weight for the exact same Mill/Drill or lathe is very different from Grizzly, Lathemaster, Enco, Penn Tool Co, Horror Freight, etc.

                            So like JC said, I wouldn't make any big conclusions from the quoted weights.
                            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


                            • #15
                              The 16" lathe is just too big for anything but very specialized use.

                              The 12" lathe is about the ideal size for gunsmithing, and the Grizzly 12" gunsmithing lathe does combine some features that enhance it's use for gunsmithing. Anybody anticipating purchase of a new machine with this use in mind could get a good package at a reasonable price. But, I would not be in any hurry to replace existing equipment that is already doing the job. Given the choice, I would prefer a belt drive lathe for gunsmithing over a gearhead machine as it provides a smoother finish.

                              I am a hobby gunsmith, and have accumulated quite a bit of literature over the years on gunsmithing. It is not in the least bit surprising to see these writers using the 6" Atlas, 9" South Bend, 10" & 12" Atlas, and 10" South Bend. Rarely do you see any other machines. A lot of this literature is dated, but the information is as good today as it was when written.

                              Gunsmithing is no different than any other machining procedure, the outcome depends as much on the care and attention to detail and the skill of the operator as it does on the equipment used.
                              Jim H.